New technology will allow robots to see through thick fog and smoke

Scientists from Stanford University (USA) have presented a new algorithm for analyzing the behavior of photons, which allows you to recognize objects hidden behind a permeable obstacle. It can be fog, heavy rain, snowfall or haze, and foam was used to test the technology in the laboratory. A laser beam cannot pass through such a medium without distortion, so devices cannot recognize objects behind it, but the new algorithm changes everything.

The technology is based on the long-known principle of confocal diffuse tomography, according to which some part of the photons is guaranteed to pass through the curtain. The problem is that their number is not known in advance, and along the way they can deviate, so the output is a rather chaotic picture that needs to be analyzed correctly. There are different methods for this - for example, with reference to ballistic photons, and American scientists have proposed another one - according to them, the most advanced one that exists today.

Details have not yet been disclosed, but it is known that during the experiment, the system was able to obtain an accurate image of an object hidden by a layer of foam 2.5 cm thick.As noted by a member of the research team, electrical engineer David Lindell, they managed to collect all the scattered photons in order to restore the original picture. But in the current format, this process takes from a minute to an hour, so it is too early to apply the technology in practice.