Robot Cameras for Super Sunday

This year's Super Bowl introduced an instant-replay technology, called Eye Vision, that let viewers see a replay as if time is frozen while a camera circles around the action. It's an impressive gee-whiz effect that can also help to resolve difficult calls. To develop Eye Vision, CBS turned to Carnegie Mellon University scientist Takeo Kanade, who in turn drew on PSC's parallel systems and visualization expertise.

Thirty cameras like the one shown here were mounted on remotely controlled pan-tilt heads custom-built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. A team of Carnegie Mellon and PSC scientists and engineers developed software to control the system. A human-operated master camera recorded pan-tilt angle, focus and zoom and fed this data to a central computer, which computed a control signal for each of the other cameras. All 30 cameras then simultaneously recorded an image and sent it to very fast videodisc, one for each camera. Along with the ability to select among 30 different angles for replay, the system also made it possible to cycle through all 30 discs, creating the illusion familiar to movie-goers who saw "The Matrix" - time radically slowed down as the viewpoint revolves in space.

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