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Video: Robot Security Camera Patrols RNC

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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: iRobot
Ann R. Thryft   9/14/2012 1:22:52 PM
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Rob, these are not consumer prices, since the cameras are much more capable than consumer products and they are designed for organizations needing computer vision, not snapshots. This--cost and capabilities--is especially true of the image sensors they contain. Also, consumers have gotten used to extremely cheap camera prices due to the price declines in CMOS image sensors. I'm pretty sure the Ferret costs less than the Panoscan since it is less capable. OTOH, it's digital, which means it uses CMOS image sensors, and the Ferret is CCD-based. Comparable CCD sensors usually cost more than CMOS sensors, but the two cameras must have very different sensor specs if one can do 360 and the other can (apparently) do 90 degrees.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: iRobot
Rob Spiegel   9/17/2012 10:25:33 AM
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That explains a lot, Ann. Are these systems also programmed to recognize unusual objects as they make their scans? Do you know if devices like the Ferret feed their scans back to a centralized center where they can be viewed by experts with more knowledge than those in the field?

Jack Rupert, PE
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Re: iRobot
Jack Rupert, PE   9/17/2012 12:07:01 PM
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The article suggested that the camera was removeable.  Is that only for replacment or are there other options available, maybe like a chemical sniffer package with less advanced camera?

@Rob, that would be a good idea to pair the unit up with some high end matching systems.  I could see in the future having a database of common vehicle undersides and then alert if somesomething doesn't match.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: iRobot
Rob Spiegel   9/17/2012 2:04:03 PM
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Good point, Jack, on both the chemical sniffer package as well as a database of car underbellies. Seems that would be within reach technically. That could offer a quick detection of something different in the picture. 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: iRobot
Ann R. Thryft   9/17/2012 3:35:49 PM
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As we said in the article, the video is viewed by the operator using special glasses or a monitor. Alternately, it can be recorded or streamed to a remote location. Object recognition and analysis would most likely be a facet of vision analysis software, but I don't recall any being mentioned.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: iRobot
Ann R. Thryft   9/18/2012 12:01:35 PM
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Jack, the article says the camera is movable, not removable. I think combining it with various object recognition/analysis software packages, as Rob suggests, might be an interesting idea, or chemical sniffers, as you mention. But the existing robot is designed primarily for on-the-spot human eyeball/brain inspection.

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