Vision Insider Blog

UAV roundup 7/24: The latest in unmanned aerial vehicle news

Jul 24, 2015

In this edition of the UAV roundup, learn about some of the recent statements and commentary made by the AUVSI, UAVs in defense and government applications, and researchers who are developing a "gecko-like" UAV.

 

UAV roundup 6/19: The latest in unmanned aerial vehicle news

Jun 19, 2015 In this edition of the UAV roundup, learn more about some authorizations the FAA granted to the six UAS test sites, a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on drones, a UAV operator using his vehicle twice to save people, drones at the U.S. open, and the latest Section 333 ex...

UAV roundup 5/22: The latest in unmanned aerial vehicle news

May 22, 2015

Much is going in the world of unmanned aerial vehicles, or, UAVs. This includes the FAA’s new Pathfinder program, which involves the use of UAVs beyond an operator’s line of sight, as well as the AUVSI reaction to the rule, and some of the latest UAV headlines and applications.

Fake alien identified with image processing algorithm

May 21, 2015

Learn about how an image processing algorithm was used help to prove that an image of alien from the Roswell Crash of 1947 was actually a mummified two-year-old boy.

Wanted: Your input on industry survey

May 11, 2015 Help us help you.The Vision Systems Design team is currently in the process of developing an industry survey that aims to identify some of the main hurdles that systems integrators and engineers may encounter when it comes to the design, implementation, and maintenance of imaging systems. What ty...

Sony finally comments on CCD image sensor discontinuation news

May 1, 2015

Months back, news began to surface suggesting that Sony would discontinue its line of CCD image sensors. So, with Sony finally commenting on the matter, what is the official word?

UAV roundup 4/24: The latest in unmanned aerial vehicle news

Apr 24, 2015

Read all about the latest developments in the world of UAVs, including a new, expedited approval process from the FAA, and the latest on Amazon's plans for a UAV-based delivery service.

Surveillance cameras play increased role for Boston Marathon security

Apr 20, 2015

Learn more about the additional security measures that are being taken for the Boston Maraton, including the installation of approximately 100 HD surveillance cameras along the route of the race.

Robot sous-chef makes crab bisque, automates the kitchen

Apr 14, 2015

Read about London-based Moley Robotics' robotic “sous-chef,” which was on display at this year’s Hannover Messe trade fair, where it was seen making crab bisque, according to BBC News.

 

Slideshow: 2015 Innovators Awards honoree reception

Mar 30, 2015 To celebrate our first annual Innovators Awards program, Vision Systems Design held a reception at the AIA’s Automate trade show and conference in Chicago, IL, USA on March 25, 2015, where many representatives from companies at the show were on hand to accept their awards from Andrew Wilson, Edit...

UAV roundup 3/27: The latest in unmanned aerial vehicle news

Mar 27, 2015

Since the last “UAV roundup” we did in February, 27 new companies have been granted a Section 333 exemption to operate UAVs, for a range of different applications, including real estate, agriculture, inspection, and motion picture and television.

 

Vision System Design announces 2015 Innovators Awards honorees

Mar 25, 2015 Developed to celebrate the disparate and innovative technologies, products, and systems found in the machine vision and image processing industry, the 2015 Innovators Awards were reviewed by an expert panel of ten third-party judges who were asked to rate the numerous entries that we received bas...

UAV roundup 2/27: The latest in unmanned aerial vehicle news

Feb 27, 2015 February saw no shortage of news when it came to UAVs in the United States. In fact, it was quite the eventful month, headlined by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) finally proposing a framework of regulations that would allow routine use of certain small UAVs in today’s aviation system, ...

UAV roundup 2/9: The latest in unmanned aerial vehicle news

Feb 9, 2015

With so many headlines related to UAVs coming out as late, I’ve decided to do another version of the "UAV Roundup."

UAV roundup 1/30: The latest in unmanned aerial vehicle news

Jan 30, 2015

Instead of blogging about each and every one of these items separately, I thought I would compile them into one big “roundup,” providing some of the latest headlines in the world of unmanned aerial vehicles.

Seeing through the Blizzard of 2015

Jan 27, 2015 As I sit here writing this article from the comfort of my own home; I am doing so not out of convenience, but out of necessity. For those of you who do not live in the northeast portion of the United States, in case you haven’t heard, we are in the midst of what many meteorologists predicted to b...

Live updates from the 2015 A3 Business Forum

Jan 22, 2015 Once again, we will be providing live updates from the A3 Business Forum, which brings together top executives from the machine vision, robotics, and motion control industries including manufacturers, system integrators, component suppliers, end users, research groups, universities, and consultin...

FAA grants additional exemptions for commercial UAVs

Jan 9, 2015

Last summer, the FAA granted permission for BP and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) manufacturer AeroVironment to fly the first commercial UAV to fly over land for the purposes of aerial surveys over Alaska’s North Slope.
 

UAV lands on water, captures underwater footage

Jan 2, 2015

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) called the HexH2o is capable of landing on a body of water and capturing underwater footage.
 

Student builds a camera inside a Lego

Dec 4, 2014 Much of what we cover on Vision Systems Design is rather technical, or at least serious in nature. From time to time on the blog, I like to take a look at off-beat, fun, or interesting bits of news, such as sharks eating cameras attached to robots, or the innovative use of a digital cinema camera...

FAA granted authority to fine UAV operators

Nov 19, 2014 This past March, I wrote about the case of Raphael Pirker, a 29-year-old who used an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to film a commercial at the University of Virginia. In this case, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) filed a case against Pirker for flying a drone commercially.  

VISION 2014 thoughts and takeaways

Nov 10, 2014 To articulately summarize my entire VISION experience would require an extensive amount of writing and reflection. Throughout the course of the next few weeks, I do, in fact, intend to provide summaries of the interviews I had with the 20-some-odd international vision companies on the show floor....

Crime fighting with Google Glass

Oct 7, 2014

Earlier this summer, we reported that The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS were adapting its SHORE real-time face detection and analysis software for the Google Glass.
 

Innovative music video made with a Kinect and modified digital cinema camera

Sep 29, 2014

San Francisco-based ambient music artist Tycho released a music video for the song "See" from the 2014 album “Awake" that makes clever use of a Microsoft Kinect and a modified RED Epic camera.
 

FAA approves commercial use of UAVs for filmmaking

Sep 26, 2014

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued just its second approval of commercial UAV flights, with six permits being given to film and television production companies for the purpose of aerial video capture.
 

Unexpected item in the bagging area

By Andy Wilson
Anyone who has been grocery shopping recently can't have failed to notice the numerous self-checkout lanes that many grocery stores are now installing in their premises as an alternative to traditional cashier-staffed checkouts.

The reason for this is quite simple. By enabling consumers to scan the barcodes on their own items, and manually identify items such as fruits and vegetables which are then weighed, stores can man a six station check out with just a single person, cutting down on costs considerably.

But by doing so, many stores have left themselves open to unscrupulous individuals who may either attempt to hoodwink such systems into believing that they are purchasing a lovely bunch of coconuts instead of a pack of somewhat more expensive sirloin steaks, or simply bag the items at the checkout without bothering to scan them at all.

Apparently, things have got so bad on the pilfery front, that New England-based Big Y (Springfield, MA, USA) has abandoned any more self-checkout ideas it had planned, citing both customer service as well as shoplifting behind its decision.

Fortunately, however, one company now believes it can offer a solution to the knotty problem -- a solution that is, of course, based around an intelligent vision analysis system.

That company, StopLift Checkout Vision Systems (Cambridge, MA, USA) has developed a computer vision system that can interpret the behavior of the customer by analyzing and understanding body motions at the checkout.


By analyzing the digitized video, the so-called “ScanItAll system” scrutinizes how each item is handled to determine whether or not it was properly scanned. The patented system is capable of understanding fraudulent behavior, including when a bar code is covered up by hand.

Of course, there are alternative approaches to cutting down fraud. One such approach which has been tested out by grocery retail giant Kroger (Cincinnati, OH, USA) involves the deployment of a tunnel called the Advantage Checkout. This system incorporates a battery of imaging scanners that read bar codes and letters and numbers on goods to identify them as they travel through the tunnel.

Eliminating the need for customers to scan their own goods could prove equally as effective, if not more so, at cutting down on theft as analyzing customers' movements from video footage. Combining the two approaches could mean that thieves are faced with a much tougher time should they try to purloin the sirloin in the future.

References:

Method and apparatus for detecting suspicious activity using video analysis
Self-Checkout, Too Easy to Steal?
Self-checkout lanes boost convenience, theft risk
New Kroger Bar Code Scan Tunnel Could Revolutionize Retail Checkout