Secure and Reliable Operations through Digital Logistics

Research and Development in Material Handling Engineering and Systems

Keeping an Overview with the Virtual Bird’s-Eye View

A production facility’s control center depends on having all data available at a glance. Viewing a facility’s premises through surveillance cameras frequently only provides insight into overall events from different perspectives on various monitors. The virtual bird’s-eye view, a new technology developed by the Fraunhofer IFF, compresses video images from surveillance cameras into a virtual aerial photograph of a facility and thus provides an overview of everything happening in real time. This makes it possible to detect problems at an early stage and to develop options to resolve them. As a visualization module, the virtual bird’s-eye view additionally opens new dimensions for augmented reality applications. Automatic computerized coloration of certain areas as a function of current status and tracking of equipment on the premises are possibilities.

How the System Operates

The virtual bird’s-eye view visually processes video data generating an overall view from many individual views with distorted perspectives and thus placing individual views in a spatial relationship.

The system operates with standard IP cameras and, using cameras mounted on the ceiling of a building for instance, furnishes a virtual bird’s-eye view with all the essential information on conditions in a large-area warehouse. A network infrastructure sends the images to a server that uses algorithms (lens correction, homography) to rectify images, put them on one plane and assemble them into one image.

The Fraunhofer IFF employs prior VR model planning to optimize the number of cameras needed to cover the area. The resultant complete image coverage of an area can be used to localize and identify individual object such as industrial trucks. This is where the Fraunhofer IFF’s system MarLO® would come into play.