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Predator Outdoes Kinect At Object Recognition

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the think-well-inside-the-box dept.

AI 205

mikejuk writes "A real breakthough in AI allows a simple video camera and almost any machine to track objects in its view. All you have to do is draw a box around the object you want to track and the software learns what it looks like at different angles and under different lighting conditions as it tracks it. This means no training phase — you show it the object and it tracks it. And it seems to work really well! The really good news is that the software has been released as open source so we can all try it out! This is how AI should work."

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Frist psot! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35820390)

Frist psot!

Re:Frist psot! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35820422)

ur r3t4rded n l34rn 2 spellz

I for one.. (0)

Dynamoo (527749) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820398)

I for one welcome our new Open Source overlords.

Re:I for one.. (4, Interesting)

Ruke (857276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820540)

I'm looking forward to looking at the GPL'd source code. There are a lot of ways to do object tracking, and they've all generally got problems, but I was rather impressed with this presentation. It was able to track the moving vehicle while it passed into and out of shadows (non-uniform saturation), as well as track that panda while it turned around (changing its shape), and it was able to distinguish a black-and-white version of the presenter's face (not based on color). It was able to recognize objects that moved off screen, which seems to indicate that it's not just drawing a snake around the moving object. Furthermore, it doesn't seem to need to be specifically programmed to track each object (as we saw the presenter just drag-and-drop a box around his hand/face.)

Re:I for one.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35820594)

Target recognized: John Connor.

The true test? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35820410)

The true test: can it track objects without a red dot or yellow square?

Um (0)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820440)

Kinect doesn't just track the person, it tracks the wireframe so it can figure out what the objects legs and arms are doing, that's why it has the laser rangefinder in addition to the stereo cameras.

Re:Um (4, Informative)

SorcererX (818515) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820526)

The kinect doesn't have stereo cameras. It has one color camera which isn't really used for much, a IR projector (that projects IR dots all over the scene) and a IR camera. The IR camera uses the pixel distance between the dots to find the distance. The depth image you then get is used as input to the algorithm that detects the body parts and their orientation etc.

Re:Um (2)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820656)

Not the distance between dots. The camera sees exactly the same dot density regardless of depth because the projector and the camera are on the same plane (it doesn't matter if the surface is near or far, since dots will have the same angular distance when viewed from the camera). What it does measure is horizontal displacement vs. a reference image. This works because the camera and the projector are horizontally offset.

Re:Um (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820976)

What it does measure is horizontal displacement vs. a reference image.

That's just another way of saying that some of the dots are displaced horizontally more than others, i.e. the horizontal distance between them is different. If the camera is positioned just to the right of the IR emitter, then two dots closer together = the rightmost dot is closer to the camera, whereas two dots farther apart = the rightmost dot is farther away.

Re:Um (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#35821248)

And displacement is not distance in your world, because ..?

Re:Um (1)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 3 years ago | (#35821376)

There's no reference image involved. The IR camera is offset from IR projector, and therefore sees the horizontal dot displacements caused by differences in depth.

Re:Um (0, Troll)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#35821410)

You sound like you a parroting something you heard but don't really understand it.

Stop it.

Re:Um (1)

am 2k (217885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820582)

Judging from the video, it should be no problem to track individual limbs to generate a skeleton of the user. The big plus of this thing is that you don't need any special hardware at all, only a webcam is needed. Moving complexity from the hardware to the software is a big plus in the industry, because it makes the whole system much cheaper.

Re:Um (0)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 3 years ago | (#35821198)

Plus there's absolutely no actual comparison between this system and the Kinect at the link. And yet Slashdot is confident that it "outdoes" Kinect.

The headline is just using Kinect as an attention-getter, when it really has very little to do with the story.

Re:Um (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35821228)

No, the linked article made that claim.

Re:Um (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 3 years ago | (#35821266)

Yes, BOTH Slashdot and the linked article are making the completely unsubstantiated claim.

Me saying that Slashdot is doing it doesn't imply that the linked article isn't also. I thought Slashdot was supposed to be full of smart people, why is this basic logic so hard to figure out?

Wow, what a great idea. (2)

Anon-Admin (443764) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820450)

1) Integrate this with a physical tracking system to move the camera to follow the target. 2) A simple program to actuate a solenoid when on target. 3) Add gun 4) train with photo 5) leave somewhere days before target arrives. 6) Profit

Re:Wow, what a great idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35820504)

You know, that's scarily do-able.

Re:Wow, what a great idea. (1)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820550)

While possible, it would be more complex then that. It would also have to account for wind, distance, speed, windows etc.

Re:Wow, what a great idea. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35820576)

Good thing we already have algorithms for all of those.

Re:Wow, what a great idea. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35820606)

Only if distance was a factor. As far as I know, Samsung already makes automated turrets [youtube.com] . Scary indeed, but yesterday's tech. Maybe it's cheaper now.

Re:Wow, what a great idea. (1)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820908)

But do they have a sultry voice like the Aperture Science Turret [youtube.com] ?

Re:Wow, what a great idea. (1)

That's What She Said (1289344) | more than 3 years ago | (#35821274)

Damn! You just beat me! I was checking before making a Portal or Half Life reference...

Re:Wow, what a great idea. (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820610)

While possible, it would be more complex then that. It would also have to account for wind, distance, speed, windows etc.

That depends on the size of the gun you use!

Re:Wow, what a great idea. (1)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820722)

It would also have to account for wind, distance, speed, windows etc.

Well, it is also available for Linux and OSX,so Windows shouldn't be a problem

Re:Wow, what a great idea. (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820856)

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/news/press_releases/2010/052610_LM_DARPA_rifle-scope.html

Easy.

Re:Wow, what a great idea. (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35821390)

Yeah, windows would be a real problem -- probably blue screen before the target was acquired!

Re:Wow, what a great idea. (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820748)

Why bother with all this when a bluetooth (cell phone) listener with a range weapon is so much less complex?

Re:Wow, what a great idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35821358)

If by "range weapon" you mean "explosive device", you're right.

If by "range weapon" you mean "longbow", you'll need some triangulation to actually aim the weapon.

Re:Wow, what a great idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35820794)

Is there anyone there? Dispensing product.

Re:Wow, what a great idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35820866)

1) Integrate this with a physical tracking system to move the camera to follow the target.
2) A simple program to actuate a solenoid when on target.
3) Add gun
4) train with photo
5) leave somewhere days before target arrives.
6) Profit

I think you missed a step?!

5.5) ???

Re:Wow, what a great idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35820916)

John Connor is fucked.

Re:Wow, what a great idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35821302)

1) Integrate this with a physical tracking system to move the camera to follow the target.
2) A simple program to actuate a solenoid when on target.
3) Add gun
4) train with photo
5) leave somewhere days before target arrives.
6) Profit

Now if you only combined it with a Kinect system (eyes), and other robot parts you are well on your way to 6) A Terminator

Yo Dawg (1)

xMrFishx (1956084) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820452)

I heard you like you like Predators, so we put a Predator on your Predator so you can spy while you spy.

Watched TFV on TFA, very interesting. Something to play with soon I think.

Re:Yo Dawg (1)

netdigger (847764) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820944)

Predation?

Predator UAV? (1)

Singularity42 (1658297) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820466)

I'm assuming the robot plane can track objects pretty well before it disconfigures them.

State of the art? Yes. Breakthrough? No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35820474)

This method uses fairly standard techniques (tracking and on-line learning), and puts them together nicely. It is very nice work, but hardly a breakthrough in AI.

Also, this has nothing to do with Kinect. This tracker uses a 2D camera to track 2D image patches, while learning their shape. The Kinect is a 3D sensor which is used for tracking *articulated* models, such as people.

Re:State of the art? Yes. Breakthrough? No. (0)

alexborges (313924) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820488)

"The Kinect is a 3D sensor which is used for tracking *articulated* models, such as people."

Big words for a fucking distance sensor.

Re:State of the art? Yes. Breakthrough? No. (2)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820702)

It's a breakthrough in the price of AI..

yeah (1)

sentientbeing (688713) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820478)

Yeah thats how it starts off. First you're like "ooh ahh look at the cute little robot isn't he pretty walking around by himself" then later theres running and screaming and then its all like "Newsflash :Bombing in Midtown, USA - Cyborg liberation front demands equal rights for robots".

Re:yeah (1)

hellkyng (1920978) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820642)

No kidding and then the debate really heats up:

1. Robots want to be able to marry > Marriage is between a fleshing and a fleshing (cyborgs or flesh covered robots allowed too in Massachusetts)
2. FemBots want to be able to choose to have an EMP burst > EMPs are nuclear based malicious malfunctions!
3. Robots want to "open-source" themselves, no debate ensues but its only legal in the outskirts around Las Vegas.

Won't someone think of the child-bots?

Re:yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35821240)

The climate's easy on my switches and my stable's full of bitches.

I got hoes on Las Vegas Boulevard and my software is always hard.

Re:yeah (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 3 years ago | (#35821262)

I think this [imgur.com] might be relevant.

And then, eventually we will need this [imgur.com]

with a name like that, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35820480)

what could possibl

sky net is growing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35820496)

sky net is growing

Very nice. (2)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820498)

Very nice.

There are other systems which do this, though. This looks like an improvement on the LK tracker in OpenCV.

This could be used to handle focus follow in video cameras. Many newer video cameras recognize faces as focus targets, but don't stay locked onto the same face. A better lock-on mechanism would help.

Neat (1)

symes (835608) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820534)

That was a very nice demonstration and well done to Zdenek Kalal. That said, there's a bunch of trackers out there and what I find is that none of them do well in a noisey environment where there's a bunch of similar items. Security cameras have to work in the rain, snow, fog, low light conditions. So Zdenek, if you are listening, how real-word can you go with this?

Re:Neat (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820726)

towards the end there is an example of it tracking a car on the freeway - i think that might fit the bill

Why still fooling with ONE camera? (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820584)

Shouldn't we be developing AI to use two? I mean, we have two eyes (most of us, condolences to those who do not, no disrespect intended) and we recognize objects, dept of field and rates of change within three dimensions, using them.

Re:Why still fooling with ONE camera? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35820600)

maybe we should give the AI an appendix too...

Re:Why still fooling with ONE camera? (2)

smelch (1988698) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820778)

And a glossary.

Re:Why still fooling with ONE camera? (1)

JayJay.br (206867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820964)

And an index. What the hell, give 'em all five fingers.

Re:Why still fooling with ONE camera? (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#35821374)

In Greece [wikipedia.org] that's more offensive than just one anyway.

Re:Why still fooling with ONE camera? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35821156)

Mod parent up for teh lulz!

Re:Why still fooling with ONE camera? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35820640)

Shouldn't we be developing AI to use two? I mean, we have two eyes (most of us, condolences to those who do not, no disrespect intended) and we recognize objects, dept of field and rates of change within three dimensions, using them.

But them the robots will be just as fooled by stereoscopic 3D as we are!

Re:Why still fooling with ONE camera? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35820674)

Because you don't need it to do a pretty good job and it takes vastly less calibration to use.

Close one eye. Now track something. If you can do it, why shouldn't our AI be able to?

Re:Why still fooling with ONE camera? (2)

Ruke (857276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820692)

The only thing two cameras really nets you is more reliable depth perception; however, this requires regular calibration, as minute shifts in cameras (say, from being jostled around while moving) can translate to large errors if your focal points aren't exactly where you think they are. It's often easier to track movement using the change-in-size of your object, and have a separate specialized depth-sensor (sonar, laser, etc) to perform depth measurements when you need them to be exact.

Re:Why still fooling with ONE camera? (1)

SorcererX (818515) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820772)

Indeed, I had a project a while ago in which we used two separate cameras mounted on a robot. We barely had to touch the camera rig to get the cameras out of alignment. Once it was mounted it was pretty good though. There are companies such as Point Grey Research that makes Stereo Vision Camera setups that stay aligned properly even if you move the rig around, but such setups aren't particulary cheap.

Re:Why still fooling with ONE camera? (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820796)

Shouldn't we be developing AI to use two?

Why? One camera is cheaper to purchase and maintain than two and this software seems to do just fine with one.

Re:Why still fooling with ONE camera? (1)

theY4Kman (1519023) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820956)

You are surely disrespecting those with one eye by suggesting they can't recognize objects.

Re:Why still fooling with ONE camera? (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 3 years ago | (#35821270)

Why stop at 2?

Re:Why still fooling with ONE camera? (1)

tirerim (1108567) | more than 3 years ago | (#35821360)

We really only use our binocular vision for depth perception at fairly small distances (less than 10 meters); more than that, and we're just relying on things like relative size, perspective, and motion parallax (which assist at smaller distances, too). If we're designing robot surgeons or something else that needs equally fine sensitivity, then yes two cameras would be the way to go, but for most purposes they're just unnecessary.

What should I name my video tracking technology? (1)

asdbffg (1902686) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820638)

Oh... I know. "Predator." That's not a loaded, terrifying term at all.

Re:What should I name my video tracking technology (2)

PReDiToR (687141) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820734)

Bloody stupid name if you ask me ...

I mean they even spelled it properly and everything.

Re:What should I name my video tracking technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35820844)

"Moley Mole" was the first name that came to me when watching the video.

Re:What should I name my video tracking technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35820800)

czechs, being generally weak and defenseless, have a jealousy hard-on for the american military system

Not a breakthrough (4, Informative)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820644)

This isn't a breakthrough. Much of the technology for tracking objects in this way has been out for about a decade. See this Wikipedia article for one technique for doing this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scale-invariant_feature_transform [wikipedia.org]

Re:Not a breakthrough (2)

immakiku (777365) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820668)

I think the breakthrough is the speed improvements to do this in real time on reasonable commodity hardware?

Re:Not a breakthrough (3, Funny)

bughunter (10093) | more than 3 years ago | (#35821016)

Indeed. I've worked on some military programs that track and intercept, umm... things... for various purposes... that use this very same image-based tracking algorithm. But instead of painting a red dot or drawing trails, it steers a, umm... vehicle... that... uh... delivers candy.

Yea. Candy.

Euphemism aside, he's done a very nice job of integrating it with commercial hardware and software. It's still impressive.

Matlab (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35820646)

This runs inside of, or is somehow dependent on Matlab. I know little about Matlab, but I find that somewhat odd that it cannot be implemented as a standalone application. What magic of Matlab cannot be easily reproduced to make this a standalone app?

Re:Matlab (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820984)

tons and tons of exotics FORTRAN like code that is shared from grad student to grad student

Re:Matlab (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35821040)

The "magic" is that Matlab has a lot of very fast and powerful built-in matrix operations. Can be reproduced, yes. Easily, no.

However, Matlab also has a compiler package that creates stand-alone executable files...

Great News! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35820654)

Ok guys, seriously. This isn't good news. This is just one more step towards the inevitable and eternal oppression of the majority of humanity through automation.

Great video, but (0)

AnonymmousCoward (2026904) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820658)

@1:40 "Usefull for disabeled people"...

But apparently not useful for PhD students who can't spell

Re:Great video, but (5, Informative)

hotkey (969493) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820880)

who can't spell

I guess you're fluent in Czech?

Matlab required? (1)

cmpalmer (234347) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820662)

How usefully open-source can it be with a commercial library requirement?

Re:Matlab required? (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820706)

It's not that bad; the code can be ported to a useful language and distributed. It's an extra step but it's far from worthless (as far as software goes).

What if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35820700)

You point it at a hall of mirrors?

January (1)

Taur0 (1634625) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820708)

This video was uploaded in January, and it's on slashdot NOW?

Re:January (1)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820786)

I'm guessing somebody was annoyed by the Kinect stories recently...

Re:January (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35820884)

Actually, it was to be uploaded in January, but the Chinese government suppressed it till today, due to their new time travel restrictions...

Re:January (1)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 3 years ago | (#35821092)

This video was uploaded in January, and it's on slashdot NOW?

You mean people didn't IMMEDIATELY take notice of a video posted by a Czech student for his phd thesis? Good God, who's manning the internet?!?!

Totally different things. (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820746)

Kinect is how you feed data to an image recognition/tracking algorithm, Predator is that algorithm. The software side of Kinect has support for efficiently tracking items, but that is so you have the most CPU left for a game. That was the trade-off.

Kinect hardware can do something very useful that Predator can't -- it can tell how far away something else (and thus, judge position or size more accurately).

The predator algorithim (and other ones no doubt under development) using the two sets of data from a Kinect camera will still be superior to an algorithm using just one set of data.

No training phase? (1)

MosnarSgnik (2041258) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820754)

How is showing it the object at different angles and different lighting conditions not a training phase?

Re:No training phase? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35820876)

It is given an initial patch to track. It learns how it changes over time and updates the tracking template.

Re:No training phase? (2)

ifrag (984323) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820914)

I think what was meant is no independent training phase. The training is in parallel with actual use.

Nothing new or great (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35820760)

As a person who does on a daily to daily basis research on object tracking, and having seen implementations and performances of many trackers (including this one) on real world problems (including gaming), this is nowhere a new approach or an approach which outperforms many other ones published in recent computer vision conferences.

From TFA:
"It is true that it isn't a complete body tracker, but extending it do this shouldn't be difficult."

Going from this to body tracking is a HUGE step, it's not a really easy thing to do. I don't know there is a strange hype around this one which I can't really understand the reason, it's coming up on many websites etc, while as I said not being a great tracker.

I'm not surprised (1)

tooslickvan (1061814) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820838)

Predator outdoes everything and everyone except for Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Kirk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35820890)

Beam me up, Scotty.

Not open source (1)

interiot (50685) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820896)

It may not really be open source. The author says it's available under the GPLv3 [github.com] . But the author also says something completely contradictory:

Re:Not open source (1)

pmontra (738736) | more than 3 years ago | (#35821104)

It means that if you want to use that code in a closed source program you can do it if you buy a license from him. He owns the copyright so he can multiple-license the code. GPL doesn't prevent that and it is quite common [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Not open source (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 3 years ago | (#35821128)

According to the page you linked:

Free Version

TLD can be downloaded for testing in a chosen application. We provide a precompiled demo (Windows) and a source code that is released under GPL version 3.0. In short, it means that any distributed project that includes or links any portion of TLD source code has to be released with the source code under the GPL version 3.0 license or later.

Commercial Version

A license has to be purchased for using TLD in a commercial project. The licencing is managed by the IP owner, the University of Surrey and the fee is subject to negotiation. Please contact the University of Surrey for further information.

Re:Not open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35821220)

What he probably means is that if you wish to use the code without having to adhere to the GPLv3 restrictions, then he would be willing to sell you a license. There's nothing wrong with that from an open source perspective.

Re:Not open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35821276)

They might mean it is dual-licensed i.e. available under GLPv3 if you are willing to keep the source open or available under a commercial license if you want to keep your modifications closed.

Re:Not open source (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#35821320)

It's not contradictory, it's just incorrect terminology.

By "commercial" they mean "non-GPLv3 compliant", which is wrong since GPLv3 licenses can be used for commercial products just fine. And you could not want to use the GPLv3 for a non-commercial project...

But it's a common error, since the overlap is rather large.

"This is how AI should work"? (1)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820972)

Now why did you have to go and say that? Don't you know they hate it when you tell them what they're supposed to do?

Wouldn't be surprised if the robot uprising took place tonight. At least, I know who pushed them over the edge.

I had a Terminator joke... (1)

hoppo (254995) | more than 3 years ago | (#35820980)

but I'm just going to take it to Fark.

Actually... this isn't how A.I should work! (1)

Tasha26 (1613349) | more than 3 years ago | (#35821182)

Giving an initial starting point and/or tracing the object amounts to pure cheating. This is going backwards in time in terms of evolution of A.I. The object to track (a scale/rot/trans-invariant shapes database) and its intial starting point on the picture is a big problem in Computer Vision. This software ain't a breakthrough if the computer can't track a known object by itself.
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