Biologically encoded augmented reality
PhD dissertation, MIT
Synthetic nervous systems
Neuromuscular feedback bionics and robotics
Biomimetic robotics for human fidelity
Synthetic stereoscopic vestibular systems and articulated architectures
MIT Media Lab Member Event Demos
2015 - 2019
Cybernetic feedback for micro retinal imaging
Self-guided, non-invasive vascular mining
Active power assist for heavy lifting
Engineering new sensor architectures
Independent early works, 2008-2010
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Biomimetic robotics and human sensory interaction

Peripheral semantics

This research demonstrates a foundational approach to peripheral semantic information delivery capable of conveying highly complex symbols well beyond the established mean, using motion-modulated stimuli within a series of small, static apertures in far periphery ( > 50°).

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Light Field Retinal Imaging

This system introduces ophthalmic light field capture, on a micro camera platform, allowing for a robust approach to the acquisition of multi-view imaging and ensuring nearly all light emitting from the pupil is gathered for processing. 

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Sculpting Plasma

I engineered and built a 12 cubic foot vacuum particle accelerator with a power grid running at 300,000 V made from discarded television components, and a 10,000-watt stepped-up magnetron series. It is a photographic platform with which I have the freedom and flexibility to address a variety of natural mediums at the molecular level.

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Art of Tone

The Art of Tone is a visual approach to the granular synthesis of sight and the very nature of particles specific to our perspective in space and time

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Maunder Minimum

I created a number of artificial retinas on which images can be focused to address iconic decay as an unperceived aspect of sight. These carefully arranged elements have been developed into a device which can only “see” afterimages, presenting an aesthetic world of imagery beyond our conscious view.

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The Third Book

These pieces are single exposures made possible by the first digital camera I designed and built, which is nearly three feet across, makes an absolutely horrible noise, and has enough copper in it to make about 2000 pennies.

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Publications

[link to PDF]

Lawson, Matthew Everett. Biologically encoded augmented reality: multiplexing perceptual bandwidths. Diss. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2020.

[link to patent]

Lawson, Matthew Everett, and Ramesh Raskar. “Methods and apparatus for retinal imaging.” U.S. Patent No. 9,295,388. 29 Mar. 2016.

 

In exemplary implementations, this invention comprises apparatus for retinal self-imaging. Visual stimuli help the user self-align his eye with a camera. Bi-ocular coupling induces the test eye to rotate into different positions. As the test eye rotates, a video is captured of different areas of the retina. Computational photography methods process this video into a mosaiced image of a large area of the retina. An LED is pressed against the skin near the eye, to provide indirect, diffuse illumination of the retina. The camera has a wide field of view, and can image part of the retina even when the eye is off-axis (when the eye’s pupillary axis and camera’s optical axis are not aligned). Alternately, the retina is illuminated directly through the pupil, and different parts of a large lens are used to image different parts of the retina. Alternately, a plenoptic camera is used for retinal imaging.

[link to patent]

Lawson, Matthew Everett, et al. “Methods and apparatus for retinal imaging.” U.S. Patent No. 9,060,718. 23 Jun. 2015.

 

In exemplary implementations, this invention comprises apparatus for retinal self-imaging. Visual stimuli help the user self-align his eye with a camera. Bi-ocular coupling induces the test eye to rotate into different positions. As the test eye rotates, a video is captured of different areas of the retina. Computational photography methods process this video into a mosaiced image of a large area of the retina. An LED is pressed against the skin near the eye, to provide indirect, diffuse illumination of the retina. The camera has a wide field of view, and can image part of the retina even when the eye is off-axis (when the eye’s pupillary axis and camera’s optical axis are not aligned). Alternately, the retina is illuminated directly through the pupil, and different parts of a large lens are used to image different parts of the retina. Alternately, a plenoptic camera is used for retinal imaging.

Sinha, Shantanu, P. A. R. K. Hyunsung, Albert Redo-Sanchez, Matthew Everett Lawson, Nickolaos Savidis, Pushyami Rachapudi, Ramesh Raskar, and II Vincent Patalano. “Methods and apparatus for anterior segment ocular imaging.” U.S. Patent 10,105,049, issued October 23, 2018.
 
A projector and one or more optical components project a light pattern that scans at least a portion of an anterior segment of an eye of a user, while one or more cameras capture images of the anterior segment. During each scan, different pixels in the projector emit light at different times, causing the light pattern to repeatedly change orientation relative to the eye and thus to illuminate multiple different cross-sections of the anterior segment. The cameras capture images of each cross-section from a total of at least two different vantage points relative to the head of the user. The position of the projector, optical components and cameras relative to the head of the user remains substantially constant throughout each entire scan.

[link to article]

Lawson, Everett, Jason Boggess, Siddharth Khullar, Alex Olwal, Gordon Wetzstein, and Ramesh Raskar. “Computational retinal imaging via binocular coupling and indirect illumination.” In ACM SIGGRAPH 2012 Talks, pp. 1-1. 2012.

 

The retina is a complex light-sensitive tissue that is an essential part of the human visual system. It is unique, as it can be optically observable with non-invasive methods through the eye’s transparent elements. This has inspired a long history of retinal imaging devices for examination of optical function [Van Trigt 1852; Yates 2011] and for diagnosis of many of the diseases that manifest in the retinal tissue, such as diabetic retinophathy, hypertension, HIV/AIDS related retinitis, and age-related macular degeneration. These conditions are some of leading causes of blindness, especially in the developing world, but can often be prevented if screened and diagnosed in early stages.

[link to article]

Velten, Andreas, Di Wu, Belen Masia, Adrian Jarabo, Christopher Barsi, Chinmaya Joshi, Everett Lawson, Moungi Bawendi, Diego Gutierrez, and Ramesh Raskar. “Imaging the propagation of light through scenes at picosecond resolution.” Communications of the ACM 59, no. 9 (2016): 79-86.

 

We present a novel imaging technique, which we call femto-photography, to capture and visualize the propagation of light through table-top scenes with an effective exposure time of 1.85 ps per frame. This is equivalent to a resolution of about one half trillion frames per second; between frames, light travels approximately just 0.5 mm. Since cameras with such extreme shutter speed obviously do not exist, we first re-purpose modern imaging hardware to record an ensemble average of repeatable events that are synchronized to a streak sensor, in which the time of arrival of light from the scene is coded in one of the sensor’s spatial dimensions. We then introduce reconstruction methods that allow us to visualize the propagation of femtosecond light pulses through the scenes. Given this fast resolution and the finite speed of light, we observe that the camera does not necessarily capture the events in the same order as …

[link to article]

Sinha, Shantanu, Nickolaos Savidis, Everett Lawson, and Ramesh Raskar. “Replacing the Slit Lamp with a Mobile Multi-Output Projector Device for Anterior Segment Imaging.” Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science 56, no. 7 (2015): 3162-3162.

 
Purpose: The gold standard for examining the anterior segment of the eye is the ophthalmic slit lamp. Slit lamps are bulky, contain many moving parts, require trained physicians to operate and cause discomfort due to light sensitivity. We demonstrate an experimental solid-state computational platform employing light steering techniques to project a synthetically generated slit of light onto the eye that provides functionality similar to that of a slit lamp. This low-cost, portable device reduces the examination time from the order of a few minutes to about five seconds.
Methods: The compact system consists of three modules: a pico projector, a standard RGB camera and simplified optics. The pico projector outputs a computationally generated slit of light-a vertical line in the frame of the projector. A pair of lenses collimate and focus this slit onto the subject’s eye. Thus, as this line is translated in the frame of the projector, an …

[link to master’s thesis]

Lawson, Matthew Everett. “A Priori vision: the transcendence of pre-ontological sight: the disparity of externalizing the internal architecture of creation.” MS Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2012.

The completion of any visual work is not an arrival, but furthered from the origin, the inner plane of perspective, which is so readily lent from the context of communicating the seemingly coded space from which I am inspired. The closest visual language within my …

[link to article]

matthew Lawson, Everett, and Ramesh Raskar. “Smart phone administered fundus imaging without additional imaging optics.” Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science 55, no. 13 (2014): 1609-1609.

 

Purpose
Demonstrate a smart phone based non-mydriatic fundus imaging system without additional imaging optics. Micro waveguide technology delivers specular free imaging. The hardware complexity is replaced with sophisticated software methods for non expert control and image reconstruction. Traditionally cell phone based fundus imaging is performed with the addition of a 20 diopter lens placed between the camera and subject, or as an attachment to other ophthalmic devices to achieve optimal magnification and off-axis illumination delivery. However, this requires non trivial alignment and expert knowledge to operate.
Methods
The system comprises of a smart phone (for initial studies a Galaxy S3 was chosen) coupled with a novel programmable waveguide to steer near co-axial illumination through the pupillary plane. The system is held 25mm from the surface of the cornea co-axial to the foveal center. The …

[link to article]

Velten, Andreas, Di Wu, Adrian Jarabo, Belen Masia, Christopher Barsi, Chinmaya Joshi, Everett Lawson, Moungi Bawendi, Diego Gutierrez, and Ramesh Raskar. “Femto-photography: capturing and visualizing the propagation of light.” ACM Transactions on Graphics (ToG) 32, no. 4 (2013): 1-8.

 

We present femto-photography, a novel imaging technique to capture and visualize the propagation of light. With an effective exposure time of 1.85 picoseconds (ps) per frame, we reconstruct movies of ultrafast events at an equivalent resolution of about one half trillion frames per second. Because cameras with this shutter speed do not exist, we re-purpose modern imaging hardware to record an ensemble average of repeatable events that are synchronized to a streak sensor, in which the time of arrival of light from the scene is coded in one of the sensor’s spatial dimensions. We introduce reconstruction methods that allow us to visualize the propagation of femtosecond light pulses through macroscopic scenes; at such fast resolution, we must consider the notion of time-unwarping between the camera’s and the world’s space-time coordinate systems to take into account effects associated with the finite speed of light …

[link to article]

Velten, Andreas, Di Wu, Adrian Jarabo, Belen Masia, Christopher Barsi, Everett Lawson, Chinmaya Joshi, Diego Gutierrez, Moungi G. Bawendi, and Ramesh Raskar. “Relativistic ultrafast rendering using time-of-flight imaging.” In ACM SIGGRAPH 2012 Talks, pp. 1-1. 2012.

 

We capture ultrafast movies of light in motion and synthesize physically valid visualizations. The effective exposure time for each frame is under two picoseconds (ps). Capturing a 2D video with this time resolution is highly challenging, given the low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) associated with ultrafast exposures, as well as the absence of 2D cameras that operate at this time scale. We re-purpose modern imaging hardware to record an average of ultrafast repeatable events that are synchronized to a streak tube, and we introduce reconstruction methods to visualize propagation of light pulses through macroscopic scenes.

[link to article]

Velten, Andreas, Everett Lawson, Andrew Bardagjy, Moungi Bawendi, and Ramesh Raskar. “Slow art with a trillion frames per second camera.” In ACM SIGGRAPH 2011 Talks, pp. 1-1. 2011.

 

How will the world look with a one trillion frame per second camera? Although such a camera does not exist today, we converted high end research equipment to produce conventional movies at 0.5 trillion (5· 10 11) frames per second, with light moving barely 0.6 mm in each frame. Our camera has the game changing ability to capture objects moving at the speed of light. Inspired by the classic high speed photography art of Harold Edgerton [Kayafas and Edgerton 1987] we use this camera to capture movies of several scenes.

[link to article]

Pamplona, V., E. Passos, Jan Zizka, M. Oliveira, Everett Lawson, Esteban Clua, and Ramesh Raskar. “Catra: cataract probe with a lightfield display and a snap-on eyepiece for mobile phones.” In Proc. SIGGRAPH, vol. 11, pp. 7-11. 2011.

 

[link to article]

Pamplona, Vitor F., Erick B. Passos, Jan Zizka, Manuel M. Oliveira, Everett Lawson, Esteban Clua, and Ramesh Raskar. “CATRA: interactive measuring and modeling of cataracts.” ACM Transactions on Graphics (TOG) 30, no. 4 (2011): 1-8.

 

We introduce an interactive method to assess cataracts in the human eye by crafting an optical solution that measures the perceptual impact of forward scattering on the foveal region. Current solutions rely on highly-trained clinicians to check the back scattering in the crystallin lens and test their predictions on visual acuity tests. Close-range parallax barriers create collimated beams of light to scan through sub-apertures, scattering light as it strikes a cataract. User feedback generates maps for opacity, attenuation, contrast and sub-aperture point-spread functions. The goal is to allow a general audience to operate a portable high-contrast light-field display to gain a meaningful understanding of their own visual conditions. User evaluations and validation with modified camera optics are performed. Compiled data is used to reconstruct the individual’s cataract-affected view, offering a novel approach for capturing …

[link to article]

Pandharkar, Rohit, Andreas Velten, Andrew Bardagjy, Everett Lawson, Moungi Bawendi, and Ramesh Raskar. “Estimating motion and size of moving non-line-of-sight objects in cluttered environments.” In CVPR 2011, pp. 265-272. IEEE, 2011.

 

e present a technique for motion and size estimation of non-line-of-sight (NLOS) moving objects in cluttered environments using a time of flight camera and multipath analysis. We exploit relative times of arrival after reflection from a grid of points on a diffuse surface and create a virtual phased-array. By subtracting space-time impulse responses for successive frames, we separate responses of NLOS moving objects from those resulting from the cluttered environment. After reconstructing the line-of-sight scene geometry, we analyze the space of wavefronts using the phased array and solve a constrained least squares problem to recover the NLOS target location. Importantly, we can recover target’s motion vector even in presence of uncalibrated time and pose bias common in time of flight systems. In addition, we compute the upper bound on the size of the target by backprojecting the extremas of the time profiles …

[link to article]

Kirmani, Ahmed, Andreas Velten, Tyler Hutchison, M. Everett Lawson, Vivek K. Goyal, M. Bawendi, and Ramesh Raskar. “Reconstructing an image on a hidden plane using ultrafast imaging of diffuse reflections.” Submitted, May (2011).

 

An ordinary camera cannot photograph an occluded scene without the aid of a mirror for lateral visibility. Here, we demonstrate the reconstruction of images on hidden planes that are occluded from both the light source and the camera sensor, using only a Lambertian (diffuse) surface as a substitute for a mirror. In our experiments, we illuminate a Lambertian diffuser using a femtosecond pulsed laser and time-sample the scattered light using a streak camera with picosecond temporal resolution. We recover the hidden image from the time-resolved data by solving a linear inversion problem. We develop a model for the time-dependent scattering of a light impulse from diffuse surfaces, which we use with ultra-fast illumination and time-resolved sensing to computationally reconstruct planar black and white patterns that cannot be recovered with conventional optical imaging methods.

Patents

Press, conferences, and invited talks

Invited Talks
2013 TedMed, Washington D.C.
2012 SIGGRAPH, Los Angeles, CA
2012 NSF I-CORPS, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, WI
2012 Health Wellness Conference, Washington DC
2012 Thesis Talk, WMBR-Boston
2012 Guest lecture, MIT Course Disaster at a Distance
2012 Guest lecture, MIT “Creative Responses to Conflict & Crisis”
2011 Guest lecture, The New School, NY
2011 Guest lecture, Monserrat College of Art, MA
2011 Guest lecture, the Cloud Foundation, MA
2011 Artist’s Talk, Parsons the New School for Design, New York, NY
2011 Critical Information: Mapping the Intersection of Art + Technology, School of Visual Arts, New York, NY,
2011 The Spectrum of Vision, Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, MA
2010 Guest lecture, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL
2010 The Artscience Prize, Cloud Foundation, Boston, MA
2010 Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, MA
2009 School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
2009 Harold Washington College, Chicago, IL
2009 Actual and Virtual, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
2009 Guest Instructor, Documentary Practices, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Awards
2014 Lemelson “Cure-it!” Student Prize National Finalist
2014 Vodafone Wireless Innovation Prize
2013 Finalist, MIT 100K competition
2012 Finalist, MASSChallenge
2012 Dow’s Sustainability Innovation Student Award, MIT IDEAS Global Challenge
2012 First Place, CIMIT Innovation in Primary Healthcare
2012 First Place, Harold and Arlene Schnitzer Prize in the Visual Arts, MIT Council for the Arts
2011 First Place, Laya & Jerome B. Wiesner Student Art Award, MIT Council for the Arts

Selected Exhibitions
2012 Schnitzer Prize Exhibition, MIT Wiesner Gallery
2011 Wiesner Prize Exhibition, MIT Media Lab
2009 Definitions, CentrePasquArt, Bienne, SZ
2009 Wassaic Project Summer Festival, Wassaic, NY
2009 MFA Thesis Exhibition, SAIC, Chicago, IL
2009 Map of the World, Bridge Art Fair, New York, NY
2009 Ship in a Bottle, Sullivan Galleries, Chicago, IL
2008 Nippon Steele Juried Exhibition, Chicago, IL
2008 New Work, Sullivan Galleries, Chicago, IL
2006 Rudé Právo, říjen, 1949, Concertina, Prague, CZ
2006 Maanfield Stámpf, Fabrication, Paris, FR
2005 Melok, Zoología, Paris, FR
2004 Žižkov, The Blind Eye, Prague, CZ


Permanent Collections
2009 The Greene Collection, Hollywood, CA
2008 The Walter Roth Collection, Chicago, IL
2004 Monfort Foundation, Greeley, CO
2001 Hunt Foundation, Boulder, CO
1999 The Auschwitz Memorial Museum, Oswiecim, Poland

CV

Contact

© 2020 M. Everett Lawson