February 29, 2024

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Replicating insect vision to improve camera detection systems

Researchers from the University of South Australia are creating new technology based on the extraordinary vision of insects.

The dragonfly possesses visual processing skills that are cause for envy. They can remain in the air under very tight control waiting for potential mates, prey or predators.

Using their nearly 360-degree eyesight, they are able to discern targets against cluttered backgrounds and then take the appropriate action.

Insect-inspired initiative

As reported, the past eight years have seen the team replicate the visual functionality of these insects and are using them as a basis to improve detection systems in cameras.

The bio-inspired research of the team led by the University’s Dr Russell Brinkworth, a neuroscientist, mechatronic engineer and robotics expert; and Professor Anthony Finn, Director of the Defence and Systems Institute; has a range of applications.

These applications include:

  1. Developing bionic eyes to improving the navigation systems of driverless cars
  2. Spotting drones in complicated environments
  3. Scanning forests to capture detailed information about individual trees
  4. Improving facial recognition techniques
  5. Monitoring wildlife in densely camouflaged areas

By replicating the dragonfly’s visual algorithms in a computer model, the researchers are building sensor systems that can find objects in different settings, which is something that computers currently fail to do well.

The scenes may be very bright or very dark, have either high or low contrasts, and are in complex and obscure landscapes.

Fatal accidents involving driverless cars occur because more progress needs to be made in the visual processing field.

Current camera systems struggle with differentiating between light and dark and different objects.

Dragonflies have the same ability as humans, animals and other insects to adjust to dark and light surroundings.

Moreover, they have superior tracking and detection skills. All these visual processes can be mapped to help build systems that can operate in complex environments.

The researchers will take the algorithms that insects use and modify them to suit whichever purpose it will serve them such as improving security camera footage or facial recognition.

The same biologically-inspired algorithms can also be applied to sound, making it easier to listen for objects in noisy environments.

This entails tracking small, quiet, slow-moving targets like drones based on both their visual and acoustic signatures.

Other initiatives

Meanwhile, the same people are leading a University project that will help combat the growing global threat posed by IED-carrying drones.

Improvised explosive devices are among the deadliest weapons in modern warfare, killing or injuring more than 3000 soldiers in Afghanistan in 2017.

This weaponisation of drones by terror groups has led the Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group to invite researchers and experts from industry and academia to come up with technological solutions.

Using the algorithm inspired by insect neurology and physiology, their research team has developed electro-optic, infra-red and acoustic sensor technologies, which can detect remotely- piloted aircraft at impressive distances.

They achieved this by transitioning the model of the hoverfly beyond the biology and simulation and put it on embedded computers.

These are small, portable systems that allow the processing of images and data at around 100 frames a second, thereby, identifying targets in very complex settings in real time.

The drone detection project is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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