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Milestone Systems funds research project at University of Aalborg

Milestone Systems funds research project at University of Aalborg

Milestone Systems funds research project at University of Aalborg

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — The University of Aalborg, Denmark, has been honored for advancements in Harbor Safety Technology through a collaborative project with Milestone Systems.

In a release from Milestone the company specified its video technology and synthetic datasets deployed in a Danish harbor were recently awarded the Danish Spar Nord Foundation Research Award for research into detecting fatal accidents in harbors using Artificial Intelligence (AI)-trained models for thermal cameras.

Milestone Systems announced that the research project furthers the AI capabilities of thermal cameras and Milestone’s video technology software to monitor and assess unusual behavior and enhance safety in harbors around the world.

Every year 236,000 people drown around the world. In Denmark, the harbors have witnessed numerous drowning incidents over the years, with 1,647 lives lost between 2001 and 2015. A quarter of these tragedies occurred in the harbors themselves. Identifying a clear need to prevent such accidents, a research team at The University of Aalborg leveraged AI combined with video technology to enhance safety in one of Denmark’s busiest ports, Aalborg Harbor. In doing so, they created the largest outdoor thermal dataset for video analytics, covering a nine-month period.

Using a combination of a test dummy filled with warm water detectable by thermal cameras and the largest published collection of annotated thermal images, AI models were trained to promptly detect and alert rescue teams if a person fell into the harbor.

The research team created an advanced synthetic dataset that could effectively train the AI models in the sudden, involuntary movements involved in falling. The training data was expanded to include wheelchair users, skaters, and bicycle riders, to provide as many scenarios of different people falling as possible for the AI model.

“By knowing the normal behavior on the waterfront, the model can detect abnormal events such as a person falling off the dock and immediately trigger an alarm. This way, rescue personnel can be called out quickly – even in cases where the accident occurs without witnesses,” explained lead researcher and Ph.D. student, Neelu Madan, The University of Aalborg.

As well as saving lives, Neelu Madan’s award-winning research demonstrates the power of synthetic data used to train AI models in scenarios that are difficult or unsafe to replicate in the real world. According to Neelu, the same model has applications in other situations. For example, it could be used by manufacturing companies to improve production processes.

“We are incredibly proud of Neelu and excited about the potential application of her work. The development of the thermal dataset by The University of Aalborg and Milestone Systems at Aalborg Harbor represents a groundbreaking step forward in video technology, providing the community with the largest annotated thermal dataset,” said Rahul Yadav, chief technology officer, Milestone Systems.


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