Machines That See, Think, and Play Hockey




It was a sign of the times. In 1997, a supercomputer became the first machine to defeat a world chess champion. Meanwhile, CSL researchers explored new possibilities in machine intelligence, robot control, and computer vision.

The Omnifocus Camera
This camera was a major breakthrough in computer vision. Human eyes focus on objects almost instantly, but cameras take time to focus mechanically. The Omnifocus Camera solved this problem by keeping the entire field of vision in focus at all times. What's more, the camera was equipped for stereo vision to create 3-D images.

In addition to its use in robotics, the Omnifocus Camera has important applications for surveillance and high-zoom cameras used by doctors in surgery.

Intelligent Machines
CSL created the Air Hockey Robot, an intelligent machine that can go one-on-one with a human in air hockey. This robot tested the integration of nonlinear control theory, real-time computer vision, and machine learning.