Ingestible Pill, Cockroach Cams Head Our Odd Tech List

We are continually fascinated by digital imaging technology and some of the current news on the digital camera front has only increased that fascination. We give you the Pill cam and the Cockroach Cam as exhibits 1 and 1a.

Hard to Swallow

Lending new meaning to the old phrase, “Take two aspirin and call me in the morning,” U.S. regulators have recently cleared the use of a bite-size camera to help screen patients who have trouble with colonoscopies. The ingestible pill camera from Given Imaging is designed to help doctors spot polyps and other early signs of colon cancer.

The Food and Drug Administration has cleared the device for patients who have had trouble with the unpleasant colonoscopy procedure, which involves probing the large intestine with a tiny camera embedded in a four-foot long, flexible tube. A kinder, gentler approach for sure, the Israeli company developed the technology from missile defense systems using a battery-powered camera to take a series of high-speed photos as the pill slowly winds its way through the patient’s intestinal tract over an eight-hour period.

While the images the camera produces are quite suitable for framing (of course we’re kidding) they are clear enough for doctors to make a solid medical diagnosis, though the images taken by the mini-camera are still not quite as clear as those captured from the in-office procedure. Given Imaging has stated they are currently pursuing a more limited market for the device: patients who have trouble undergoing standard colonoscopies.

Roach Cam

That’s Right, Roach Cam

From inside your intestines we move outside of the body for another kind of new camera. While the sight of cockroaches scurrying across the floor may give some people the shivers, the creepy crawlers may now one day help save your life in a disaster.

How about this idea as new a “action cam” as researchers at North Carolina State University have turned common cockroaches into cyborg bio-bots. The general idea here is a tiny robotic cockroach that transform into bionic rescuers that can find people trapped in rubble by using microphones and or tiny cameras attached to their backs. While early versions of the tech are only including the microphones for now, researchers claim the addition of a camera to add sight is on the way as well.

The tiny insect bot is remote-controlled through small circuit boards attached to their nervous systems. Software analyzes data and steers them toward sounds that can be differentiated between calls for help versus a leaky pipe. Solar cells on their backpacks recharge the microelectronics. The camera would relay a video feed to assess the condition of the person trapped. The bio-bots can even be kept from leaving the disaster sites through the use of an invisible fence. Incredible stuff for sure.

While it’s highly unlikely you’d want to photo edit any of the images captured by the Pill Cam (heaven forbid) or the Roach Cam (getting rescued would be the priority), you may find Zoner Photo Studio does amazing work with all your other, less intrusive, images so download your free trial version today.

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AuthorMichael McEnaney

I am a veteran technology journalist with over 20 years experience covering consumer electronics and imaging tech as well as launching, editing/writing content, selling and marketing a variety of publications and websites. Most recently I helped NAPCO launch the network of consumer tech websites and also helped launch the popular tech website as well as launching his own website at that covers all consumers can do with their digital images and videos after they’ve captured them. My true passion has always been photography – both capturing life’s most precious moments as well as covering the pros that capture the world.

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