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Tech Roundup

April 6, 2012

Researchers have designed a camera that can see around corners.



Introducing the periscope camera. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Researchers have demonstrated a camera that take pictures around corners. In the journal Nature Communications, they describe the use of a high-speed laser that can bounce light off even non-reflective surfaces, like walls and floors. Some of the light finds its way around the corner into a neighboring room and bounces back out again, where a sensor in the camera detects it. Software analyzes the reflections to recreate any three dimensional objects in the room. Future versions of the camera could let firefighters look for people trapped in buildings, or let police scan a room before entering.

In other news, Virginia Tech engineers have designed RoboJelly, an underwater robot that propels itself like a jellyfish, and gets power directly from hydrogen in the water. The robot is built using shape-memory alloys that can flex, and then return to their original shape. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.