A Camera That Can See Through Walls

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Humans cannot see through walls. Even out in the open, they can’t see too far on a foggy day. Ditto for search-and-rescue robots or self-driving cars with cameras for eyes. MIT researchers have hit upon a way to give those cameras an ability to see through walls and bad weather.

While most materials will stop visible light dead in its tracks, radio waves and microwaves with their longer wavelength can go straight through these objects. Still, conventional microwave or radar-detecting systems are huge, complex, and expensive and cannot be stand-ins for an automaton’s computer vision eyes.

Researchers from the Camera Culture Group at MIT have developed a simple camera-like architecture to create a novel radar for everyday objects. They describe their set-up in this week’s online edition of Science Reports.

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