Tag Archives: Google

Computer vision and mobile technology could help blind people ‘see’

Computer scientists are developing new adaptive mobile technology which could enable blind and visually-impaired people to ‘see’ through their smartphone or tablet.

Funded by a Google Faculty Research Award, specialists in computer vision and machine learning based at the University of Lincoln, UK, are aiming to embed a smart vision system in mobile devices to help people with sight problems navigate unfamiliar indoor environments.

Based on preliminary work on assistive technologies done by the Lincoln Centre for Autonomous Systems, the team plans to use colour and depth sensor technology inside new smartphones and tablets, like the recent Project Tango by Google, to enable 3D mapping and localisation, navigation and object recognition. The team will then develop the best interface to relay that to users – whether that is vibrations, sounds or the spoken word.

Project lead Dr Nicola Bellotto, an expert on machine perception and human-centred robotics from Lincoln’s School of Computer Science, said: “This project will build on our previous research to create an interface that can be used to help people with visual impairments.

“There are many visual aids already available, from guide dogs to cameras and wearable sensors. Typical problems with the latter are usability and acceptability. If people were able to use technology embedded in devices such as smartphones, it would not require them to wear extra equipment which could make them feel self-conscious. There are also existing smartphone apps that are able to, for example, recognise an object or speak text to describe places. But the sensors embedded in the device are still not fully exploited. We aim to create a system with ‘human-in-the-loop’ that provides good localisation relevant to visually impaired users and, most importantly, that understands how people observe and recognise particular features of their environment.”

The research team, which includes Dr Oscar Martinez Mozos, a specialist in machine learning and quality of life technologies, and Dr Grzegorz Cielniak, who works in mobile robotics and machine perception, aims to develop a system that will recognise visual clues in the environment. This data would be detected through the device camera and used to identify the type of room as the user moves around the space.

A key aspect of the system will be its capacity to adapt to individual users’ experiences, modifying the guidance it provides as the machine ‘learns’ from its landscape and from the human interaction. So, as the user becomes more accustomed to the technology, the quicker and easier it would be to identify the environment.

The research team will work with a Google sponsor and will be collaborating with specialists at Google throughout the ‘Active Vision with Human-in-the-Loop for the Visually Impaired’ project.

Below is an interview with Dr Bellotto on BBC Radio Lincolnshire:

A PhD position is now available to work on this project. Click here for further details.

Google Talk!

google

On Friday 8th November we have Ed from Google coming in to talk to current students about his role at Google and how he got there. He works within the technical side of Google Maps but will also tell you more about working for Google and the areas within it such as Google Maps and Earth as well as Search/GMail/YouTube/Docs, Google Glass, self driving cars and internet balloons.

Ed will talk about his time at Google for about 1 hour and will be available for up to another hour to answer questions.

The talk will be in the Enterprise building on the 8th November 3pm in meeting room 1. Please go to reception and they will point you in the right direction.

This will be a great insight into the inner workings of Google! And will count to one of your Lincoln Award Subject Activities should you be on the Lincoln Award.

The Annual Showcase Event – Well done everyone.

The Annual Showcase Event was successfully held on Friday, 3rd May 2013. This was the end of a week long showing the Undergraduate Projects work, with live and Interactive demos. Students, Staff and Visitors gathered in Comp Lab ‘C’ in the School of Computer Science, where the event was officially opened by the Head of the School, Dr David Cobham.

Local and National companies, like Rockstar Games, Artsgraphica, Software-Europe, and Google UK  participated in the event and the judging panel. The event included Posters around the lab and live interactive demos including; Websites, Mobile Apps, Automated Registry system (RFID, Raspberry Pi), Autonomous Robots, Computer Vision, Human Detection and many Games.

 

Showcase Openning by the Head of School
Showcase Openning by the Head of School
Demos of students' Games
Demos of students’ Games
Demos of students' Games
Demos of students’ Games
Robot football - Rovio scoring a goal!
Robot football – Rovio scoring a goal!
Robot football - Rovio scoring a goal!
Robot football – Rovio scoring a goal!
Detecting humans using kinect and Thermal camera
Detecting humans using kinect and Thermal camera
Detecting humans using kinect and Thermal camera
Detecting humans using kinect and Thermal camera
MyCampus App (Campus Navigation App) live demo
MyCampus App (Campus Navigation App) live demo
MyCampus App (Campus Navigation App) live demo
MyCampus App (Campus Navigation App) live demo
Panel memebers trying the MyCampus App (Campus Navigation App)
Panel memebers trying the MyCampus App (Campus Navigation App)
Auto. Registration System (CS6)
Auto. Registration System (CS6)
App to motivate behaviour....
App to motivate behaviour….
Monitoring passing cars/pedestrian, FG/BG.
Monitoring passing cars/pedestrian, FG/BG.
Kinect Full-body interaction game
Kinect Full-body interaction game
Face detection for automatic lock/login computer, when users leave/return back to their seat.
Face detection for automatic lock/login computer, when users leave/return back to their seat.
Panel discussing the winners
Panel discussing the winners

Students were very pleased to participate and enjoyed presenting and talking to all visitors (especially with the companies’ representatives).

The panel members were really pleased with the demonstrated projects and commented on the quality and benefits of those projects. Given that, the panel decided to award 6 prizes for the best 6 presented projects. Congratulations to all the Winners and well done to everyone.

 

Winners receiving their Certificates
Winners receiving their Certificates
Winners receiving their Certificates
Winners receiving their Certificates
Winners receiving their Certificates
Winners receiving their Certificates
Winners receiving their Certificates
Winners receiving their Certificates
Winners receiving their Certificates
Winners receiving their Certificates
Winners receiving their Certificates
Winners receiving their Certificates
Winners receiving their Certificates
Winners receiving their Certificates
Companies receiving their "Thank You" Certificates.
Companies receiving their “Thank You” Certificates.
Companies receiving their "Thank You" Certificates.
Companies receiving their “Thank You” Certificates.

Companies’ representatives and visitors praised the event and commented that this is the way forward, and students need to get used to this kind of event, presenting their work more and more to potential employers.

The School is always open for companies and potential employers to get in touch and participate. This could be the source for recruiting your next potential intern or placement student, if not new employee.

Thank you for all involved in the organisation and setup, especially the Technical and Admin teams and the students volunteered.

Well done everyone.

All the best
Amr

Amy Guy – “take charge of your own journey..”

 

 

Amy GUy, MComp Web Technology

Amy Guy graduated from The University of Lincoln, School of Computer Science in 2011 with a first class BSc(Hons) Web Technology degree. After studying for three years, which saw Amy working for Google as an intern student one summer, travelling to India to work on a charity project and generally raising the profile of women in computing and technology, she has now progressed on to studying for a Masters degree in Interdisciplinary Creative Practices.

Amy’s story is an inspiring one for all prospective students, whether male or female,  in computer science related courses, and emphasises the point that if you have the drive and the committment to succeed, then you generally do…!

Read Amy’s story here at the University Alliance.