NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-2 X15.01-8695
SUBTOPIC TITLE: A New Technique for Automated Analyses of Raw Operational Videos
PROPOSAL TITLE: Automatic Video-based Motion Analysis

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Vecna Technologies, Inc.
6404 Ivy Lane, Suite 500
Greenbelt, MD 20770 - 1423
(240) 965-4500

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Neal Checka
6404 Ivy Lane, Suite 500
Greenbelt, MD 20770 - 1423
(617) 674-8545

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Understanding task performance and crew behavioral health is crucial to mission success and to the optimal design, development, and operation of next-generation spacecraft. Onboard resources, like a conventional 2D video camera, can capture crew motion and interaction; however, there is a critical need for a software tool that achieves unobtrusive, non-invasive, automatic analysis of crew activity from this footage.

The proposed automatic video-based motion analysis software (AVIMA) supports this R&D effort by automatically processing and analyzing complex human motions in conventional 2D video without the use of specialized markers. Unlike many video analytics solutions, AVIMA goes beyond simple blob-based video analysis by tracking the geometric configuration of human body parts like the trunk, head, and limbs. This tracking enables human motion understanding algorithms to model and recognize complex human actions and interactions.

The resulting system will represent a substantial breakthrough providing benefits to an array of applications in video surveillance, human-computer interaction, human factors engineering, and robotics.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Vecna expects the full-scope software system to have immediate and tangible benefit for NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD). ESMD focuses on the human element of exploration by conducting research to ensure astronaut explorers are safe, healthy and can perform their work during long-duration space exploration. Task performance and crew behavioral health are key concerns in the design, development, and operation of next generation space vehicles. Operations in confined, isolated, and resource-constrained environments can lead to suboptimal human performance. As such, there is a critical need for Vecna's proposed software tool that automatically processes and analyzes crew motion and interaction from video footage captured by a single conventional 2D video camera. Such a diagnostic tool will enable unobtrusive and non-invasive measurement of task performance and crew behavioral health.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed technology is applicable to a wide range of Department of Defense (DoD) and intelligence community areas including force protection, counter-terrorism, human activity monitoring, and surveillance and tracking. We see significant potential for application of this tool to support a range of tactical and strategic systems, including shipboard Navy CIC centers, Army field C3I centers, or USAF theater airborne command posts. A number of programs sponsored by the DoD (FCS, HumanID, CTS, Mind's Eye, Rail Security Pilot) employ video-based monitoring systems and would benefit from the proposed system. Also, Vecna will investigate commercialization opportunities in other sectors, including mobile robotics, interactive displays, and visual surveillance. Initial analysis of these market segments reveal both unaddressed needs as well as vast potential for rapid adoption and growth.

As robotic systems become more commonplace in today's society, robust, intelligent interaction between humans and robots is essential. To interact with humans in a lifelike manner requires the robot to infer physical intentions based on visual cues. The proposed technology could potentially revolutionize human-robot interaction. In the surveillance market, automated screening provides an immediate and extant application opportunity for AVIMA. Digital signage and displays provide another venue for applying the AVIMA technology within healthcare.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.)
Image Analysis
Image Processing
Man-Machine Interaction

Form Generated on 11-06-12 18:12