MIT researchers use 3D technology to create object representations from afar.

A group at the MIT Media Lab has created a machine that replicates whatever you put under its sensors in the form of movable rods installed on a table. The whole thing smacks of the pin art toys from your childhood, with one important distinction: it’s touchless.

Professor Hiroshi Ishii and his students used cameras to create a 3D model of any object that fits under the sensor, which information is then fed to a computer that controls the rods on the table. The invention allows physical replicas to be created from a distance, and it’s amazing to watch:

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