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December 3, 2013

MIT develops camera that captures 3D photos in dark

Researchers claim the technology could be used to help soldiers on combat operations.

By CBR Staff Writer

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) have developed a camera that can capture 3D-pictures in the almost complete darkness.

The latest camera uses Lidar, which fires a laser at objects in a grid pattern, observing the amount of time taken to reflect light back to a sensor to slowly build a 3D model of its surroundings.

The camera has many applications and could assist soldiers on combat operations, help ophthalmologists in developing an image of a patient’s eye without having to shine a bright light.

MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) PhD candidate Ahmed Kirmani told BBC that the principles were originally borrowed from Lidar system, while detectors can identify single photons but still need hundreds of thousands to form images.

"But we took the system to its limit," Kirmani said.

The research was in part funded by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

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