MITRE develops hemispheric camera for visual telepresence

Joseph L. Flatley
J. Flatley|02.24.09

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You have no idea how many times we've caught ourselves piloting prototype unmanned weapons platforms through hostile urban environments and thought, "this route is too complex, and this vision system too cumbersome to use -- there has got to be a better way." Well, it looks like the folks at MITRE have heard our call and replied with something called the Immersive Vision System. Currently in development, the heart of the thing is a hemispherical camera -- actually a number of stationary cameras that creates a video image that covers all 360 degrees horizontally and a none-too-shabby 270 degrees vertically. Placed on a robot, unmanned vehicle or armored troop carrier, the pilot wears a head mounted display with a tracking sensor that allows him to move his head naturally, adjusting the point of view accordingly -- no need for periscopes, joysticks, or any other non-intuitive control interfaces. Of course, we've merely scratched the surface of this whole "visual telepresence" jazz here -- for some action footage, be sure you check out the video after the break.

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