In today’s professional sports, instant slow-motion replays are now a staple for any personnel officiating a game. But the problem is, referees have to view each cameras one at a time to make sure they can see every angle of the action. And that takes time.
That’s the reason why Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) is developing a set of cameras that can take multiple viewpoints of a single object. Simply put, it’s like having a “Matrix” style of slow-motion replay.
Pictures from this system can be sent out about one minute after filming is finished. First of all, we intend to use this for live sports broadcasting. We’d like to make it easy to understand what’s happening, by providing multi-viewpoint pictures instead of the current slow-motion replay.
The set-up is made up of eight robot cameras that come each with two motors for panning and tilting. The developers are using a computer to control all the cameras.
Pictures taken with robot cameras inevitably have discrepancies in direction control. So simply switching between them doesn’t give smooth pictures. To solve that problem, we’ve brought in a computer, which redoes the direction control virtually. Image processing is done, to virtually orient the cameras in the direction of the subject, making it possible to switch between the cameras.
And because seeing is believing, watch the video below to see the multi-viewpoint robot camera in action: