DIY CT scanner made with Arduino reveals the anatomy of frozen chickens

Ben Krasnow

Ben Krasnow is known for building some pretty impressive DIY hardware, including ahomemade electron microscope and a backscatter scanner. This week, Ben noticed that he has all the components on hand to build his own rotating X-ray CT scanner.

A medical grade CT scanner is basically an X-ray machine that rotates around you and takes dozens of images to scan your entire body or specific parts (it's a little more complex than that, but you get the general idea). Ben built a scaled-down version of the same device that works just as well for peering inside a frozen chicken.

To capture the X-ray images, Ben used an X-ray tube he bought on eBay that fires pulses to create shadow images on a phosphor screen. Ben set a camera off to the side to capture all the shadow images, while a motorized turntable rotated the subject by eight degrees after every image capture in a cycle controlled by an Arduino board.

Ben used Photoshop to make some image perspective correction to resulting 45 images of the frozen bird, and used a 3D slicer to create a complete 3D model of the chicken. Aside from scanning frozen poultry, I imagine you could use it to scan anything you want—from that package you got in the mail to some gross dead thing your cat left you as a present.

[Ben Krasnow via Hack a Day]

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