Autonomous real-time object detection and identification

Morris, Gruffydd Beaufoy and Angelov, Plamen and Lovegrove, Graham and Knight, Graeme and Boxer, Tim (2017) Autonomous real-time object detection and identification. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

[thumbnail of 2017morrisphd]
PDF (2017morrisphd)
thesis.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs.

Download (89MB)


Sensor devices are regularly used on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as reconnaissance and intelligence gathering systems and as support for front line troops on operations. This platform provides a wealth of sensor data and has limited computational power available for processing. The objective of this work is to detect and identify objects in real-time, with a low power footprint so that it can operate on a UAV. An appraisal of current computer vision methods is presented, with reference to their performance and applicability to the objectives. Experimentation with real-time methods of background subtraction and motion estimation was carried out and limitations of each method described. A new, assumption free, data driven method for object detection and identification was developed. The core ideas of the development were based on models that propose that the human vision system analyses edges of objects to detect and separate them and perceives motion separately, a function which has been modelled here by optical flow. The initial development in the temporal domain combined object and motion detection in the analysis process. This approach was found to have limitations. The second iteration used a detection component in the spatial domain that extracts texture patches based on edge contours, their profile, and internal texture structure. Motion perception was performed separately on the texture patches using optical flow. The motion and spatial location of texture patches was used to define physical objects. A clustering method is used on the rich feature set extracted by the detection method to characterise the objects. The results show that the method carries out detection and identification of both moving and static objects, in real-time, irrespective of camera motion.

Item Type:
Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? computer visionobject recognitionreal timeedge detectionoptical flowcomputer vision and pattern recognition ??
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
01 Nov 2017 10:34
Last Modified:
04 Jan 2024 00:03