Camera can keep its eye on the ball

July 16, 2012 at 9:03 PM
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TOKYO, July 16 (UPI) -- Researchers in Japan say they've built a camera that can perfectly track fast-moving objects such as a ping-pong ball in mid-flight.

The system doesn't attempt to move the unwieldy camera to follow the object, researchers at Tokyo University said, but instead uses two movable mirrors that can shift the camera's gaze in a fraction of a second.

These rapidly moving mirrors driven by high-speed motors combined with a filming speed of 1,000 frames per second allow the camera to keep an object like a ping-pong ball dead center in the filming frame, reported Monday.

With the Olympic Games about to begin, there is interest in the technology, researchers say, but it could have applications in a number of fields.

"I hope the technology will be applied to various fields in robotics, medical/bio operation, scientific observation, as well as judgement or analysis in sports at the Olympic Games," scientist Masatoshi Ishikawa said.

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