Researchers Unveil Drones That Can See Through Brick Walls Using Only Wi-Fi
Move over Kal-El, X-ray vision is no longer just for alien superheroes. Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) have announced a new method that would essentially allow drones to see through walls. Using 3D imaging and WiFi, two drones (in this case, octocopters) working in tandem would be able to "see" a three-dimensional image of what exists on the other side of a wall (or any solid structure).
Image Credit: University of California - Santa Barbara
According to Yasamin Mostofi, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at UCSB whose lab this work was accomplished in:
While peering through a brick wall was a major challenge, Mostofi says "...enabling 3D through-wall imaging of real areas is considerably more challenging due to the considerable increase in the number of unknowns", which could conceivably include furniture and electronics. However, if and when this becomes a real-world applicable technology, we will have a lot to be wary of. While this tech could be used for things like "emergency search and rescue, archaeological discovery and structural monitoring," as the research team describes, it could be used for so much more. Police surveillance and military applications could raise many ethical questions about privacy, for one. Because these drones are autonomous and would only need WiFi, theoretically this could be used just about everywhere.