Mission of our lab

Light rays emitted from a light source, reaches to our eyes after reflecting on surfaces, refracting as they enter or leave a glasses, and scattering inside translucent objects in a scene. By just looking at an object, we humans can recognize not only the surface physical condition (i.e. roughness and shininess) but also various kinds of object properties that affect the impression of the object. Thus, light must be a medium that transports various kinds of significant information of the scene. Our challenge is to develop an interface, which we name "Optical Media Interface", to share information of the scene between humans and computers based on the light transportation. The aim of our research is to provide computers with the ability of scene understanding from the "Optical Media Interface".

Computer Vision

We are developing technologies that enable a computer to understand a scene by estimating the 3D shape and material of an object based on visual information captured by a camera. To do this, we use not only conventional cameras but also special cameras such as far-infrared cameras, hyperspectral cameras, and Time-of-Flight cameras that measure the distance to the object. The optical information measured by these cameras is analyzed using physical models and deep learning. This technology is needed in industries such as autonomous driving and product inspection.

Computer Graphics

We develop techniques to render realistic CG that depicts the unique texture of the object by reproducing reflections and scattering of light, making it indistinguishable from the real thing. We also challenge to develop new ways of presenting visual information beyond simply displaying CG on a screen, such as creating realistic replicas, stereoscopic viewing, and projection mapping.

Computational Photography

Cameras can achieve greater functionality by incorporating computational processing into photography. This is not just image processing, but also optical innovations that can exceed the physical performance limits of the device. This enables taking pictures that are impossible with ordinary cameras. This is a new technology that has been recently implemented in smartphones.

Development of Sensing System

We specialize in designing and developing sensing systems that measure various properties of light rays in a scene, such as position, angle, time of flight, wavelength, and so on. By combining different optical elements, such as lenses, reflectors, and light sources, we create unique systems for specific purposes.