Sayaka: Next-generation endoscopic capsule --

Endoscopic capsules, ingestible pill-shaped devices designed to capture images from inside the digestive tract, have been around for quite a while. But Sayaka, an endoscopic capsule developed by RF System Lab in December 2005, has dramatically increased the overall image quality by changing the camera position and enabling the camera to rotate.

While conventional capsules -- including RF System Lab's own Norika -- typically have cameras at one end of the capsule, Sayaka's camera has been moved to the side, where it has a better view of the intestinal walls. In addition, a tiny stepper motor rotates the camera as the capsule passes through the digestive tract, allowing Sayaka to capture images from every angle.

Like Norika, Sayaka's power is supplied wirelessly from an external source, primarily so that no harmful battery substances get into the body.

On a typical 8-hour, 8-meter (26 feet) journey through the gastrointestinal tract, Sayaka snaps approximately 870,000 photos, which are sent to a receiver located near the body. Image mosaicking technology is then used to stitch the images together into a flat, high-resolution rectangular map of the intestines, which can be magnified up to 75 times. In addition to scouring the maps for problem areas, gastroenterologists can compare maps from previous sessions to track changes in a patient's condition.

And as if all that were not enough, RF System Lab has released a trippy Sayaka promo video featuring a smooth disco/house soundtrack and starring a naked humanoid that floats over the Nazca Lines, shooting beams from its eyes as it scans the landscape below. Cool.

[Link: Sayaka homepage]