In this TEDx talk, Michael Rubenstein, a research scientist, introduces the “motion microscope,” a video-processing tool that amplifies changes in motion and colour. This technique makes subtle motions visible such as the change of colour of a person’s skin as blood is pumped by the heart. Using a high speed camera, the technique can even reproduce audio by detecting the tremor of a potato chip bag as it reacts to sound waves.
This technique uses Principle 35 – Parameter Change, by amplifying a “signal” already present in the video.
In one example, the technique is used to amplify the movement of a baby’s chest as it rises and falls with each breath. This had advantages over typical approaches of biotelemetry, as it does not require any mechanical sensors to be attached to the child. This is an application of Principle 28 – Substituting of Mechanical Systems with Electromagnetic Systems.
One can imagine several new applications for this technology.
Bridge failures could be predicted, as well as weakened stretches of roadway due to sinkholes, based on amplified motion caused by passing cars.
Unwanted vibration in rocket engines could be detected on the pad between ignition and release, providing another basis for go/no-go decisions.
Applying the same “amplify the change” technique, could a microphone in a car detect impending failure of engine or suspension components, if coupled with machine learning to develop patterns that predict problems?
Your turn: how would you apply this technology?