It is still very much in the lab experiment stage, but researchers at Stanford believe they have solved one of the two key problems with using reflected laser returns to effectively “see around corners.” Where non-line-of-sight capability could be of of real potential value is with autonomous vehicles in city environments.
“Despite recent advances, [non-line-of-sight] imaging has remained impractical owing to the prohibitive memory and processing requirements of existing reconstruction algorithms, and the extremely weak signal of multiply scattered light,” the research paper abstract reads in part.
“A substantial challenge in non-line-of-sight imaging is figuring out an efficient way to recover the 3-D structure of the hidden object from the noisy measurements,” said grad student David Lindell, co-author of the paper, in a Stanford news release.
They believe they have solved the time required for the computational part, but they have not tested their algorithm with a commercial lidar sensor operating in the real world. It’s certainly a step in the right direction and hopefully a key piece of the puzzle.