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AI joins thermal imaging for drones, autonomous cars

Posted: 25 Apr 2016 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Movidius? computer vision? thermal imager? Flir? camera?

Boson users no longer need to add such subsystems as input/output, display drivers to monitor graphics and power, and visual analytics, El-Ouzzane added.

Broad applications

Thermal imagers can detect radiation in the long-infrared range of electromagnetic spectrum. This enables thermal imaging cameras to see warm objects against cool backgrounds, day or night. Its applications range from military equipment and surveillance to automotive night vision and firefighter helmets that can see through smoke.

Once a thermal imaging core is combined with a visual intelligence processor core like that of Movidus' Myriad 2, thermal imaging cameras can not only get smarter. They can also double as embedded cameras that capture images using visible light.

Drones today are carrying thermal image sensors for security, surveillance or inspection purposes. DJI, the world's leading maker of drones and aerial cameras based in Shenzhen, China, offers, for instance, a drone equipped with Flir's Tau 2 thermal imaging core.

Thermal imaging

Figure 3: Pedestrian Counting: Thermal imaging is well-suited to the task as it performs well in various weather/light conditions, in addition to being able to easily differentiate the background from live subject through heat signatures. (Source: Movidius)

Last month DJI launched its Phantom 4 aircraft, with Movidus' Myriad 2 vision-processing SoC in it. The Phantom 4 is said to be capable of sensing and avoiding obstacles in real time and hover in a fixed position without the need for a GPS signal.

The Movidius CEO said, "I can't speak of either Flir or DJI, but it is conceivable that DJI can now use Flir's new Boson core," employing a combination of night vision and visual intelligence processing.

Boson is a configurable thermal camera core that works in VGA and QVGA resolution. Its camera body is 21 x 21 x 11 mm, weighing 10 grams. Its low power consumption starts at 500mW. It offers built-in support for physical- and protocol-level interface standards such as Ethernet, USB, SD card, LCD interfaces, and wireless video.

Boson is a platform-based solution allowing different configurations at different prices, performance grades and image quality, according to Flir.

- Junko Yoshida
??EE Times Europe

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