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MIT News

New research from Professor John Guttag, Professor Fredo Durand and graduate student Guha Balakrishnan provides a new means for determining an individual’s heart rate by analyzing an ordinary digital video, with results consistently within a few beats per minute of those produced by electrocardiograms (EKGs). The algorithm developed by the CSAIL researchers analyzes small head movements that accompany the rush of blood caused by the heart’s contractions to accurate determine heart rate.
A video-based pulse-measurement system could be useful for monitoring newborns or the elderly, whose sensitive skin could be damaged by frequent attachment and removal of EKG leads.

Professor Brian Williams
Jason Dorfman, CSAIL photographer

New research from Professor Brian William’s Model-Based Embedded and Robotic Systems Group at CSAIL could allow humans, robots and other autonomous vehicles to collaborate on everything from navigation to trip planning, and eventually pave the way for the operation of personal aircraft and driverless cars. The algorithms developed by Williams and CSAIL graduate student Peng Yu could allow a human passenger to dictate a trip, such as a trip to Paris with a flyover of the Eiffel Tower within certain time constraints, and allow the autonomous machine ferrying the passenger to make suggestions that allow the trip to stay on schedule. “In general, everything around us is getting smarter,” said Williams.