Mission of our lab
Light emitted from a light source, reaches to our eyes, after reflecting on a surface, refracting as it enters/leaves on a glass, and scattering inside a transparent object in a scene. By just looking an object, we, human, are able to recognize not only the surface physical condition (i.e. roughness and shininess) but also various kinds of object properties to decide the impression of the object. Thus, light must be a medium which transports various kinds of significant information of the scene. Our challenge is to develop an interface, which is named "Optical Media Interface", to share with information of the scene between human and computer according to the light transportation. To provide computers the ability of scene understanding from the "Optical Media Interface" is the aim of our research.
Computer VisionWe 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 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 GraphicsBy reproducing reflections and scattering of light, we develop techniques to render realistic CG that is indistinguishable from the real thing by depicting the unique texture of the object. We are challenging to develop new ways of presenting visual information, such as creating realistic replicas, stereoscopic viewing, and projection mapping, in addition to simply displaying CG on a display.
Computational PhotographyBy incorporating computational processing into photography, cameras can achieve greater functionality. It is not mere image processing, but by adding optical innovations, they can exceed even the physical performance limits of the device. This makes it possible to take pictures that are impossible with ordinary cameras. This is a new technology that has recently been implemented in smartphones.
Development of Sensing SystemWe design and develop specialized sensing systems that measure the position, angle, time of flight, wavelength, etc. of light rays in a scene for specific purposes. By combining various optical elements such as lenses, reflectors, and light sources, we build a world-unique system.