Camera that spies miners designed in Fresno

FRESNO, Calif.

These images of the Chilean miners trapped hundreds of feet underground were provided by a video camera made here in Fresno.

After barreling 2,200 feet below the earth a special piece of equipment provided an unbelievable first glimpse of life for 33 trapped Chilean miners.

"It's pretty exciting knowing that our equipment may help in the complete rescue of these guys," said Jim Lozano of Aries Central California Video of Fresno. Lozano designed the camera that reassured families their loved ones were safe after a mine collapse on August 5.

A written message was attached to the camera when it returned to the surface telling rescuers all the miners were alive. Lozano is holding the exact same model that was lowered into the ground.

He said most people purchase the cameras for water wells, bore holes, shallow oil and gas, coal bed methane and rescues.

One of the design flaws with older cameras that were lowered into holes is that you only had a downward view. But with these new dual view cameras you can see what's around you.

Lozano was negotiating a deal to sell the Chilean mining company his product months ago…he says this disaster sped up the process.

The company finished assembling the camera, cables and other accessories in one day...to the tune of $20,000. This video here shows the device being lowered into the ground.

"They went through 2,200 feet. 700 meters. But this camera has the capability to descend to 5,000 feet if necessary," Lozano said.

With this remote control the user has the ability to focus, zoom and adjust the lighting on any object in its view. "There's only a handful of manufactures making this type of equipment," said Lozano. Rescuers said the miners could be stuck under ground for up to four months before they are freed.

Lozano is happy this technology was able to give both miners and families hope.

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