Nashik-born scientist Ramesh Raskar was awarded the prestigious Lemelson-MIT Prize worth $500,000 (around Rs 3.35 crore) for his revolutionary inventions that help improve lives across the globe. The 46-year-old was honoured for his "groundbreaking inventions, commitment to youth mentorship and dedication to improving our world with practical yet innovative solutions", according to a press release.

Raskar has 75 patents to his name and has authored more than 120 reviewed publications. He co-invented Femto-photography, which is a high-speed imaging system that can see around corners. Its possible applications include spotting survivors in fire and rescue sites, avoiding vehicular collisions at blind spots and performing medical procedures without the need of an x-ray. His other inventions include affordable eye-care facilities, including EyeNetra, which allows for easy eye testing in remote locations, and a camera that allows users to read a book without opening it.

The prize is awarded to "outstanding mid-career inventors" who are developing concepts and are committed to mentoring in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Executive Director of the Lemelson-MIT programme Stephanie Couch said, "Raskar is a multi-faceted leader as an inventor, educator, change maker and exemplar connector. In addition to creating his own remarkable inventions, he is working to connect communities and inventors all over the world to create positive change." The scientist has mentored more than a 100 students.

Raskar wants to use a part of his winnings to start an international peer-to-peer invention platform that encourages young inventors to collaborate on projects. He said, "Through peer-to-peer co-invention and purposeful collaboration, we can solve problems that will impact billions of lives." The inventor said he was always mesmerised with the concept of using cameras as a platform to use super-human capabilities in visually interacting with the environment.