Technology in Olympics

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-Navpreet Singh

Up​ ​until​ ​now,​ ​photographers​ ​at​ ​Olympics​ ​had​ ​a​ ​tough​ ​time​ ​covering​ ​aquatic​ ​events including​ ​swimming​ ​and​ ​diving.​ ​With​ ​a​ ​traditional​ ​submerged​ ​static​ ​remote​ ​camera,​ ​they had​ ​to​ ​visualize​ ​the​ ​photos​ ​they​ ​wanted​ ​ahead​ ​of​ ​time​ ​and​ ​think​ ​about​ ​what​ ​timing​ ​and stroke​ ​to​ ​capture.​ ​They​ ​could​ ​only​ ​guess​ ​where​ ​the​ ​swimmer​ ​was​ ​going​ ​to​ ​be​ ​in​ ​the frame​ ​and​ ​then​ ​remotely​ ​press​ ​the​ ​shutter.​ ​If​ ​the​ ​camera’s​ ​placement​ ​was​ ​even marginally​ ​miscalculated​ ​and​ ​a​ ​swimmer’s​ ​fingertips​ ​were​ ​cropped​ ​off​ ​in​ ​photos, photographers​ ​were​ ​unable​ ​to​ ​fix​ ​the​ ​issue​ ​until​ ​after​ ​the​ ​swim​ ​session​ ​wrapped.​ ​This time​ ​at​ ​Rio​ ​Olympics​ ​2016,​ ​they​ ​are​ ​deploying​ ​the​ ​technique​ ​tested​ ​meticulously​ ​at​ ​the previous​ ​event​ ​London​ ​Olympics​ ​2012.​ ​A​ ​robotic​ ​structure​ ​is​ ​placed​ ​on​ ​the​ ​bed​ ​of​ ​the pool.​ ​It​ ​has​ ​a​ ​camera​ ​carefully​ ​set​ ​inside​ ​it.​ ​The​ ​movement​ ​of​ ​the​ ​structure​ ​is​ ​controlled from​ ​outside.​ ​It​ ​can​ ​zoom​ ​in,​ ​tilt,​ ​spin​ ​or​ ​get​ ​multiple​ ​angles.​ ​Many​ ​ideas​ ​can​ ​be executed​ ​now​ ​in​ ​one​ ​session​ ​compared​ ​to​ ​only​ ​one​ ​idea​ ​earlier.​ ​A​ ​lot​ ​more​ ​photos​ ​can be​ ​done​ ​now​ ​in​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​less​ ​time.​ ​Robot’s​ ​features​ ​and​ ​the​ ​remote​ ​trigger,​ ​coupled​ ​with photographers’​ ​best​ ​judgments,​ ​to​ ​capture​ ​a​ ​swimmer​ ​as​ ​he​ ​or​ ​she​ ​comes​ ​into​ ​the frame.

This​ ​is​ ​just​ ​one​ ​prime​ ​use​ ​of​ ​robotic​ ​cameras​ ​at​ ​these​ ​Games​ ​but​ ​they​ ​can​ ​as​ ​well​ ​be used​ ​for​ ​other​ ​sports.​ ​Photographers​ ​and​ ​technicians​ ​have​ ​looked​ ​out​ ​for​ ​various installation​ ​spots​ ​at​ ​the​ ​venue,​ ​where​ ​stunning​ ​inaccessible​ ​shots​ ​can​ ​be​ ​captured.​ ​The use​ ​of​ ​technology​ ​as​ ​always​ ​has​ ​eased​ ​and​ ​assisted​ ​in​ ​the​ ​usual​ ​human​ ​tasks,​ ​but cannot​ ​fully​ ​replace​ ​it​ ​in​ ​some​ ​cases​ ​including​ ​this​ ​one.​ ​The​ ​photographer​ ​can​ ​think​ ​of new​ ​ideas​ ​and​ ​angles​ ​but​ ​a​ ​robot​ ​cannot.

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