Robots With X-Ray Vision: Seeing Through Walls Using Wi-Fi

Wednesday, 06 August 2014 - 2:59PM
Robotics
Wednesday, 06 August 2014 - 2:59PM
Robots With X-Ray Vision: Seeing Through Walls Using Wi-Fi

The Superman of robots can now see through walls. Researchers at UC Santa Barbara have built robots with "X-ray vision," but instead of using X-rays, they use radio signals and Wi-Fi. 

 

[Credit: Mostofi Lab]

 

Using this cutting-edge technology, the robots can detect occluded objects without any prior knowledge of the area, as well as discerning their position and general shape, even if the objects remain stationary. 

 

[Credit: Mostofi Lab]

 

In order to achieve this imaging, two robots move along the occluded area, with one transmitting a Wi-Fi signal and the other receiving it. Any objects in the occluded area interact with the signal depending on their composition and location and leave a distinct signature. Although there are still many unknowns, and research on the project will continue in order to make the imaging even more accurate, the technology is undoubtedly groundbreaking. 

 

These robots will likely be used in order to gain access to areas that are dangerous for humans, such as search-and-rescue operations in disasters such as fires, avalanches, or man-made calamities. But there is also potential for other applications, particularly since it can be built into any Wi-Fi network. If the technology becomes more advanced, it could detect intruders, watch over the elderly, and, let's face it, invade people's privacy. There's also a chance that the technology could be developed into a hand-held device with body scanning capabilities, similar to the Star Trek tricorder.

Science
Technology
Robotics

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