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Polilight forensic lamp
portable light source for detective work

What's the first thing you do after interviewing everyone at the scene of a murder? Call for the Polilight!

In the 1980s Ron Warrender and Milutin Stoilovic, both forensic scientists at the Australian National University, developed Unilite, to improve the results of forensic examinations. Old methods of detecting fingerprints on paper and other 'difficult' surfaces used stains that were hard to photograph. New stains were developed for use with the Unilite, which could be set to just the right wavelength to show fingerprints up well against any background.

The university's commercial company, Anutech Pty Ltd, sold the concept to Rofin Australia Pty Ltd, who developed it into the Polilight. It's a portable light source which shows up invisible clues like blood stains, fingerprints and writing that has been scribbled over. Polilite has also been used to detect forged artworks and has been sold in 40 countries.

Who Did It?
Key Organisations
Anutech : research, development

Rofin Australia Pty Ltd : design, manufacture
Key People
Ron Warrender : researcher
Milutin Stoilovic : researcher

Further Reading
The dictionary of Australian inventions and discoveries
M McPhee
Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1993, p 100.

Rofin Australia
Anutech Pty Ltd
FBI for Kids

Polilight uses different wavelengths of light to obscure text obscured by white-out or scribble. Courtesy Rofin Australia Pty Ltd
ATSE Powerhouse Museum