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Detect falling object

asked 2013-04-15 15:58:03 -0500

spuds gravatar image

Hello All,

I am researching the possibility of detecting a large falling object from a couple of hundred meters away. Is it plausible to do this with OpenCV. I would simply be looking to detect an accelerating vertically moving object/person with little visual contrast. The idea is for a rescue team to detect a falling person in a remote location and -> then send notification etc.

If this is a possibility would there be a recommendation of suitable low power/reliable hardware that could run this ?

Before spending a long time playing with OpenCV I thought it wise to ask the experienced :) I'd appreciate any pointers.

Thanks in advance.

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answered 2013-04-15 18:56:25 -0500

HD_Mouse gravatar image

I think this is possible, but your question is rather vague and knowing more about your specific problem would help us give a better answer. A large object from several hundred meters away can still be quite small and may not even be seen from a camera. That said, my approach would be to apply a motion detecting algorithm, such as Optical Flow to detect if an object is falling. You can also filter results by motions that are moving in the 'down' direction of your camera. Another approach is that if the environment is very static, you could use a background subtraction algorithm to watch the scene and pick out moving objects. Both of the above mentioned algorithms are supported in OpenCV.

For hardware solutions, two popular solutions for low cost/power boards would be the Raspberry Pi or the Beaglebone. There's a good comparison of these two boards here, which also includes the Arduino Uno, but OpenCV's processing requirements would crush the AtMega. A quick google search shows some results for OpenCV+Arduino, but as far as I can tell, they're just using Arduino as a platform for controlling camera servos. Personally, I've gotten OpenCV to run on the Raspberry Pi, but it was also early in its development, so there were still issues with the USB driver which would cause the webcam to fail due to inconsistent power. This was a few months ago, so as far as I know, those problems have been fixed. I have yet to actually run OpenCV on the BeagleBone, but I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work.

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That inspires me. I'll get stuck into the Java version and see how I get on for a start. I did try the Android sample apps in the market place. I used a Nexus 4 and got pretty poor frame rates of about 8-10 FPS. I would expect the Raspberry PI might be something similar.

I could always use a small PC. Now to work on the coding. I'll have to Scour the forums here for some direction :)

Thanks for the help.

spuds gravatar imagespuds ( 2013-04-16 09:25:24 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2013-04-15 15:58:03 -0500

Seen: 1,749 times

Last updated: Apr 15 '13