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 allow the computer to understand the scene by estimating the three-dimensional shape and material of the object based on the visual information captured by the camera. For this purpose, we use not only ordinary cameras, but also various cameras such as thermal camera, hyper-spectral camera, and Time-of-Flight camera. These technologies are required in the industrial areas such as self-driving car and product inspection.
Computer GraphicsWe are developing technologies that faithfully reproduce the unique texture of the real object with CG by measuring the reflection and scattering of light with a camera. In addition to simply displaying CG on the display, we are also trying new ways to show CG, such as creating replicas that look exactly like the real object. We are also working on the development of support technology for animation production.
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Computational PhotographyWe are evolving the camera by incorporating computations into the process of photography. It is possible to exceed the physical limitation of the camera by adding a special optical system, not just image processing. Therefore, it is possible to take pictures that are not possible with ordinary cameras. This new technology is being implemented in smartphones recently.
Development of Sensing SystemIn order to measure the propagation of light such as reflection and scattering in the scene, we are developing sensing systems according to the application. By combining various optical elements and light sources, we actually create a system with only one in the world. In particular, systems that combine a projector and a camera can be used for various purposes depending on the arrangement.