Oceanology International in London, UK, is a biennial event that addresses the research challenges and economic benefits associated with the world’s largest bodies of water. This year, the highlights include a smart camera that can capture and analyze underwater objects in real time.
(Rostock, Germany/London, UK) More than two thirds of the earth is covered by water, but we know more about the surface of the moon than we do about marine life. Yet the importance of the world’s oceans as a habitat and economic resource continues to grow. To make the most effective and above all sustainable use of oceans as a means of transportation, and as a source of oil, gas and food, calls for technologies tailored to the unique challenges of submarine conditions. These include visibility, pressure and currents. Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD will be taking advantage of Oceanology International to present selected visual computing applications, in particular for visualization and image enhancement.
One of the exhibits will be SynaptiCam, a smart camera. An embedded system, in combination with one or multiple cameras, makes it possible to recognize, classify and segment objects in real time. This smart camera is ideal for monitoring and observing underwater situations, and combines low power consumption with simple integration with diverse camera types. It is also remarkably compact and, as a result, highly versatile.
SynaptiCam can be mounted onto an underwater vehicle, or installed in a fixed position. It captures and processes images in real time. Potential applications include observing fish, monitoring and inspecting offshore infrastructure, and documenting diving expeditions. In the past, photographed fish, for example, were simply counted and analyzed manually. Now, it is possible to automatically categorize individual species, and to scan fish dimensions in a way that allows estimates to be made of their weight. Pre-trained neural networks help researchers to differentiate between certain fish species and to correctly interpret what they are seeing. 3D reconstruction and object recognition are the current focus of work in the field of underwater computer vision at Fraunhofer IGD.
Oceanology International is the world’s largest exhibition and conference for ocean technology and marine science, and will be taking place from March 13 to 15, 2018. Fraunhofer IGD will be exhibiting with other Subsea@Fraunhofer participants at the joint North German stand F200.