|18 February 2017|
Scientists in Singapore have developed an ultrafast smart camera that could help self-driving cars and drones perform better in extreme conditions.
The high-contrast camera, named Celex® – now in its final prototype phase, has been built by scientists at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore). Unlike typical optical cameras, which can be blinded by bright light and unable to make out details in the dark, NTU’s new smart camera can record the slightest movements and objects in real time.
The new camera records the changes in light intensity between scenes at nanosecond intervals, much faster than conventional video, and it stores the images in a data format that is many times smaller as well.
The camera’s unique in-built circuit enables it to do an instant analysis of the captured scenes, highlighting important objects and details.
Assistant Professor Chen Shoushun from NTU’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, developed the camera.
He said: “Our new camera can be a great safety tool for autonomous vehicles, since it can see very far ahead like optical cameras but without the time lag needed to analyse and process the video feed.
“With its continuous tracking feature and instant analysis of a scene, it complements existing optical and laser cameras and can help self-driving vehicles and drones avoid unexpected collisions that usually happens within seconds.”
Asst Prof Chen believes the new camera will be commercially ready by the end of this year, as they are already in talks with global electronic manufacturers.