History of Robotics Research and Development of Japan1994BusinessMotion tracking processing system, “Tracking Vision”

Takashi UchiyamaFujitsu Laboratories Ltd.
Toshihiko MoritaFujitsu Laboratories Ltd.
Naoyuki SawasakiFujitsu Laboratories Ltd.
Keiju OkabayashiFujitsu Laboratories Ltd.
Kazunori AsadaFujitsu Limited.
Masahiko SatoFujitsu Limited.
Hirochika InoueTokyo University
Masayuki InabaTokyo University
In order for robots to have a good understand of the surroundings and operate while adapting to the situation, they must be able to pay close attention to a specific target and track its motion. Hence, an image processing device, Tracking Vision, that makes it possible to quickly track a target captured by a camera has been developed and put to practical use. The ability to track an arbitrary target with video was achieved by developing and mounting a dedicated LSI to process the similarity between image blocks by using correlation operation (SAD : sum of absolute differences). The characteristics of Tracking Vision are summarized below.
  1. High-speed video rate processing Can track a maximum of 2300 targets simultaneously at a video rate of 30 Hz and calculate up to 2300 motion vectors (when processing single color with ACP-II, 8 × 8 pixel template).
  2. Small-size, low-cost system It is a small, low-cost system that can operate in a stand-alone configuration or be incorporated into a personal computer.
  3. Flexible and easy software control It can flexibly control the target to be tracked and is compatible with various applications
Joint development of a practical system began in 1992 based on the results of research at Tokyo University and the first version was commercialized in 1994. Afterwards, a PCI bus compatible board, which was embedded into a personal computer with a mounted and dedicated motion tracking processor ACP, was developed and put to use (1996, Figure 1, Figure 2). Furthermore, a one-board system with a dedicated processor ACP-II mount that had enhanced performance and an image processing circuit and an all-purpose RISC processor were incorporated into one tip, was developed and put to use (1999, Figure 3, Figure 4).
図1 動き追跡プロセッサ「ACP」写真
Figure 1: Motion tracking processor “ACP”
図2 PCIバス対応版「カラートラッキングビジョン」写真
Figure 2: PCI bus compatible version “Color Tracking Vision”
図3 動き追跡プロセッサ「ACP-II」」写真
Figure 3: Motion tracking processor “ACP-II”
図4 スタンドアロン版「組込み型トラッキングビジョン」写真
Figure 4: Stand-alone version “Embedded type Tracking Vision”
This system is widely found in university and research institutes that engage in robot research, as one of the standard tools for vision processing. In addition, this system is being used more and more as a key technology for developing automatic systems such as monitoring systems, sports relay systems, and systems to identify vehicles. 2nd RSJ Technical Innovations Award in 1997.

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