Toshiba's Active Camera System Tracks A High-Speed Object in Ambient Light Conditions

22 September, 2003

Highly sensitive visual sensor and tracking algorithm achieve monitoring
and tracking of a fast moving object under ordinary room lighting

Toshiba's Active Camera System Tracks A High-Speed Object in Ambient Light Condition

Tokyo -- Toshiba Corporation today announced an active camera system that can extract and track a fast moving object in ordinal surroundings, including home and office environments, in ambient light conditions. New system overcomes the limitations of the present active camera systems, which typically require a strong light source to capture image sequences of moving objects at a high frame rate. Toshiba expects the new camera system to find application in such areas as robots and intelligent video cameras.

Toshiba adopted a two-fold approach to development of the camera, concentrating on its image capturing system and the object-tracking algorithm.

Improvements in the sensitivity of the imaging system made it possible to capture 320x128-pixel images with a dynamic range sufficient for image processing at a rate of 1000fps, even under normal fluorescent lighting. The object-tracking algorithm, based on Toshiba's previously developed motion-estimation technique, analyzes motion information in a high frame rate image sequence and can track an object moving at a speed of 100km an hour 15 meters away from the camera. The algorithm runs on one of dual-CPU PCs, to realize image processing at a rate of 1000fps and real-time object tracking.

Toshiba's experiments on the active camera system in ambient light conditions at its Research and Development Center confirm the effectiveness and robust performance of the visual sensor system and tracking algorithm in real-world applications. Toshiba will now develop a system LSI that will bring the camera system to robots and to man-machine interfaces that recognize movements, such as hand signals. Toshiba plans to commercialize a system LSI for high performance image processing, including an active camera system, by 2006.

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