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ROV enhancements

Visual image event detection technology exploration
Project Manager/Lead Engineer: Duane Edgington
Lead Scientist: Bruce Robison

In this project we propose to investigate the means to visually process images for event detection and for the recognition of target biological species, with these systems to be deployed on autonomous underwater robotic vehicles (AUVs). This is a technology exploration project, to review both state of the art and state of commercial practice in detecting events (new features in the visual field) using video cameras, digital still cameras (CCD pixel arrays) and neuromorphic artificial retinas and photoreceptor arrays.

We seek to develop vision systems to add to AUVs to detect when they pass an organism, and to take an image of the organism. Our dream is to be able to identify the organism autonomously in real time.

We will evaluate application of feature-detection video frame grab technology developed by Steve Rocks group being adapted to the ROV Tiburon. We will evaluate underwater and commercial digital still cameras, with illumination by strobe, as a potential lower power alternative to continuous light and video on AUVs. We will also evaluate state of the art feature and motion detection chips modeled after biological vision systems. These neuromorphic systems feature ultra-low power, large dynamic range and intrinsic real-time image processing and feature detection. Our application focus will include both midwater and deep ocean animals as well as animals that use bioluminescence in the deep sea.