Ping pong will never be the same
July 16, 2013 12:36 PM   Subscribe

Dynamic target tracking camera system keeps its eye on the ball - motorized mirrors track a moving object of interest every thousandth of a second, reflecting its image into a camera
posted by Blazecock Pileon (23 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Call my broker! Tell him to buy stock in sea-sickness pills and vomit bags!!
posted by yoink at 12:45 PM on July 16, 2013

Now, thanks to a crack team of engineers, by using high speed cameras, massive computing power unthinkable even 5 years ago, and mirrors engineered to within a thousandth of an inch, we can finally know what it is like to see through the eyes of a chicken.

This is actually really cool and a really neat solution.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:48 PM on July 16, 2013 [4 favorites]

Hat tip: chickens.

Also, that video made me barf.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 12:49 PM on July 16, 2013

If I had one of these the very very first thing I would do is grab some poi and see what firespinning would look like. Nice bright target for the camera, if nothing else...

But yeah, it's mostly going to be used for televised golf innit
posted by ook at 12:53 PM on July 16, 2013

Awesome! I've been looking for new ways to induce motion sickness!
posted by slogger at 12:59 PM on July 16, 2013

Well, after the porn people get ahold of it, anyway.
posted by jquinby at 12:59 PM on July 16, 2013

Countdown to weaponization in 3.... 2....

One more necessary component for ED-209 in the can.
posted by absalom at 1:07 PM on July 16, 2013

Countdown to weaponization in 3.... 2....

No no, you forget, this was made in Japan, not the United States. Their technological innovations result in things like better healthcare, safer cars, improved communications, better televisions, the stuff that makes the iPhone work...
posted by KokuRyu at 1:09 PM on July 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

Cool stuff. I like that they call them saccade mirrors.
posted by exogenous at 1:12 PM on July 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

This won't be cool until they add a blue halo around the puckball.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:34 PM on July 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

They said that usually a system like this would need big mirrors in front of the camera to get a wide enough point of view, but this system doesn't because of... why?
posted by smackfu at 1:53 PM on July 16, 2013

Better lenses, perhaps?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:56 PM on July 16, 2013

I gather that the alternative to small mirrors that track the object would be big stationary mirrors with a wide field of view. Maybe parabolic mirrors or something. But if your processing and servo motors are fast enough to do tracking, you can get rid of most of that glass.

This is pretty impressive - my first thought was that they were shooting a wider frame in 4K or 8K and stabilizing by moving the output frame within that, but this trick is even neater (and requires a lot less data throughput). Seems like the next step up from the technology behind DLP projectors. There are already people doing very cool things combining choreographed live performance with projected video; it's only going to get cooler once they can project a face on a ball as it flies through the air.
posted by echo target at 2:05 PM on July 16, 2013

They said the smaller mirrors are due to pupil shift optics. Disclosure, I know nothing about optics and have only watched the first 2 minutes of the video.
posted by cmfletcher at 2:08 PM on July 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Here's a link to their optical setup. It appears from their description here that the pupil shift system is just a way to get a smaller beam. Active tracking is actually pretty big; there's at least one group doing it on your eye! And those mirrors, by the way, just seem to be standard galvos—even off-the-shelf ones are easilt accessible at well over 1 kHz.
posted by Maecenas at 2:56 PM on July 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

there's at least one group doing it on your eye!

I was just wondering if there were applications for (laser) eye surgery.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:14 PM on July 16, 2013

I would just like to say that every Japanese engineer I've ever met, whether it be mechanical, software or in the life sciences, is a total mensch. Love those guys.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:23 PM on July 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

The corporate logo on the ball will now always be right side up and facing the camera.
posted by umberto at 3:44 PM on July 16, 2013 [4 favorites]

Most LASIK and PRK procedures currently performed use equipment that tracks eye movement in realtime.
posted by seanmpuckett at 3:47 PM on July 16, 2013

The technology is cool and all, but how about that narration? So neat!
posted by oceanjesse at 4:01 PM on July 16, 2013

Watching that guy talk is making MY chin hurt. I can't imagine what his feels like.
posted by DU at 5:10 PM on July 16, 2013

Visually tracking the movement of spheroids in real time. Now, if only there were a human model for this behavior.
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:56 PM on July 16, 2013

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