TU researchers develop forensic camera

TU researchers develop forensic camera

Using a laser attachment, a photo camera doubles as a measuring instrument. TU Delft researchers, led by Dr Arno Loeve (Faculty 3mE), won the Rotterdam police’s Q-lab start-up competition with this invention. The FreeRef is being tested in practice.


In CSI series on television, forensic investigators place a black and white measuring rod next to weapons, blood traces and other clues at the crime scene. This method has its disadvantages, according to Loeve. “If you use a ruler, you have to be very careful not to spread DNA or damage any evidence when you place the ruler next to the evidence.” In addition, it can be difficult to photograph evidence straight. The FreeRef was therefore developed in consultation with the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI). 


The attachment shines laser beams and projects a number of light spots on the photo frame. Image processing software uses these spots to calculate the distance and angles, so the size of a track can be determined exactly. Even if it runs at an angle.

The prototype is currently being tested by the Forensic Investigation unit of the Rotterdam police, and will be fine-tuned. After that, other police units can also use it.


Read more on the TU Delft press release


Science editor Jos Wassink

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