1ms pan-tilt camera system tracks the flying balls (w/ Video)

Jul 15, 2012 by Nancy Owano report
Pan-tilt camera system tracks the flying balls   (w/ Video)
Photograph of the Saccade Mirror. Image: University of Tokyo

(Phys.org) -- University of Japan researchers have worked on a camera system that tracks fast-moving objects in realtime, automatically keeping fast moving objects centered. The system can track fast-moving objects with high accuracy, called “amazing.” A video demo has been made that reveals their success. This is a pan-tilt system that keeps an object at the center of the field. The researchers started work based on a challenge they recognized in the broadcast of major sports events such as the World Cup and games at the Olympics, where videos that are powerful and of the highest quality are in demand.

In reality, though, they call attention to a number of limitations in techniques being used to capture the games. “It is often hard for operators to keep tracking their camera's direction on a dynamic object,” they wrote, such as the player or the ball. Shooting has been limited either to moving the camera’ gaze slowly with a wide angle of view or inaccurately controlling the gaze. “Super slow and close-up videos of the remarkable player or the ball are thought to be especially quite valuable. However, camera operators have not been able to do that.”

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

Carrying out their work at Ishikawa Oku Laboratory, the team worked out a that can track fast-moving objects with something described as a high-speed gaze control device Two mirrors, one pan, one tilt, can move sixty degrees in approximately 3.5 milliseconds. These mirrors do the tracking realtime, bouncing images back to a stationary high-speed camera. The 1ms Auto Pan-Tilt system, as the system is named, gets its 1ms designation because it uses a 1,000 frame-per-second vision targeting system. Mirrors react to changes in the subject’s speed or trajectory in no more than 3.5 milliseconds, which is the amount of time required for either of them to move a full 60 degrees, their panning and tilting limit.

Their work does not signify a first in pant-tilt camera systems development. The researchers do, however, spell out where their work has an edge. “To control the camera's gaze with millisecond order in real time is difficult. The main reason is the method of controlling the gaze. A general pan/tilt camera is mounted on a rotational base with two-axis actuators. The actuators must control both the base and the camera. For millisecond-order control, the weight of the rotating parts must be reduced as much as possible”. In their method, the camera is fixed and their gaze-control device using rotational mirrors is installed next to the camera, controlling the camera's gaze with use of the two mirrors.

Auto Pan-Tilt image sequence of a pingpong game. (500fps, Full-HD). Image: University of Tokyo

An easily predictable application would, as the researchers suggest, be for use in televised sports, where the camera used in the system shoots in full HD at 500 frames per second. Another application could be for science research in shooting fast- such as birds, insects, or aircraft.

Team members behind the development are Kohei Okumura, Hiromasa Oku and Masatoshi Ishikawa.

Explore further: Using sound to picture the world in a new way

More information: www.k2.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp/mvf/Sac… rFullHD/index-e.html

Related Stories

NHK shows downsized Super Hi-Vision video camera

May 28, 2012

(Phys.org) -- NHK this week placed on exhibit a shoulder-mount camera, developed in cooperation with Hitachi, capable of shooting what NHK calls super high vision (SHV) video in 7680×4320 resolution. ...

OrcaM is new kid on block for 3-D data capture

Jan 21, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- Call it automated photograph station, seven-camera system, 3-D model showcase, or digital reconstruction tool. OrcaM is being described as all these things. Whatever the tag, the "OrcaM" name ...

A 360 degree camera that sees in 3D (w/ Video)

Dec 01, 2010

Surround sight has come to the camera. Inspired by the eye of a fly, EPFL scientists have invented a camera that can take pictures and film in 360° and reconstruct the images in 3D.

Cell Phones Using Gesture Control (w/ Video)

Apr 29, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- The next generation of cell phone interfaces is currently under development at Ishikawa Komuro Laboratory at the University of Tokyo but instead of using a touchscreen the new interface is ...

Recommended for you

Using sound to picture the world in a new way

10 hours ago

Have you ever thought about using acoustics to collect data? The EAR-IT project has explored this possibility with various pioneering applications that impact on our daily lives. Monitoring traffic density ...

Sweeping air devices for greener planes

Oct 21, 2014

The large amount of jet fuel required to fly an airplane from point A to point B can have negative impacts on the environment and—as higher fuel costs contribute to rising ticket prices—a traveler's wallet. ...

User comments : 6

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

mattytheory
Jul 15, 2012
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
wealthychef
Jul 15, 2012
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
xen_uno
5 / 5 (1) Jul 15, 2012
That is amazing!
Jeddy_Mctedder
3 / 5 (2) Jul 16, 2012
. eventually robots will be keeping score of tennis matches rather than referees.
what would macnroe yell at a robot?
Argiod
1 / 5 (2) Jul 16, 2012
Of course, the military will want to research the use of this to track high speed targets.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Jul 16, 2012
Of course, the military will want to research the use of this to track high speed targets.

They have that using radar (no need for optical range tracking). But they'll probably want to install it on their 'security bots' so they'll always shoot you in the eye with a laser (or a bullet) - no matter how you duck.
Howard_Vickridge
not rated yet Jul 16, 2012
Smiling - so often the simple furnishes the elegant. Nice solution to minimising the moving mass.
baudrunner
Jul 16, 2012
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Shifty0x88
not rated yet Jul 16, 2012
AWESOME!

Yes I can see this useful in all the places people above me picked out: hockey pucks(impossible to see on the ice), bullets(simply impossible to see with eyes), baseballs(to see pitches and hits/HRs), tennis(was that ball out or not), missiles(is it rotating correctly, where is it going, etc), people(are they doing something against the flow of traffic? Do they have a package? etc.) cars(if the police are trying to follow a speeding car)

And there are probably more that I am not thinking of right now too!