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VMS to integrate AI and drone technology for enhanced airborne object detection

By Eric Van Rees - 20th March 2020 - 07:43

Funding from SPRINT programme provides access to machine learning expertise from University of Leicester to develop new PSIM solution

Glasgow-based Visual Management Systems (VMS), a leading provider of bespoke Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) solutions, is working on a collaborative project with the University of Leicester. The project, funded by the national SPRINT business support programme, will help VMS to integrate Artificial Intelligence and drone technology to develop a new PSIM solution for enhanced airborne object detection.

The University of Leicester will support VMS with a pioneering approach to machine learning algorithms. The project will enable VMS to build AI into a drone that can send alerts to flag up potential issues and provide high quality airborne images for operators to check. This can benefit organisations using security systems and applications including fence security, and search and rescue at sea. Future developments may include a satellite deployed solution that will integrate intelligence from ground-based systems, drones and orbital platforms.

The project is funded by a grant from the £4.8 million SPRINT (SPace Research and Innovation Network for Technology) programme that provides unprecedented access to university space expertise and facilities. SPRINT helps businesses through the commercial exploitation of space data and technologies.

Jay Shields, Managing Director of Visual Management Systems said: “We initially had a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the University of Leicester and have jointly worked on the development of a facial recognition platform. Through the SPRINT programme, we gain access to the superior R&D facilities at the University of Leicester, offering a degree of resource that we couldn’t naturally afford as a small company.

“The University is very good at thinking and creating, and through this collaborative partnership, VMS can bring a thorough understanding of the marketplace, product and delivery. The learning from the University will be invaluable. The support from SPRINT is significant as it brings credibility and risk reduction, and for small businesses such as VMS, can enable us to see a Return on Investment far quicker.”

Ivan Tyukin, Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Leicester added: “The challenge set to us by VMS was how to fit an object detection system within a portable, mobile platform such as a drone. The system needs to cope with uncertainties and varying operational conditions resulting in a broad variability of scales and image intensities, and we also needed to avoid the system sending false alarms that the operator then has to check, using cameras or sending patrol cars to search.”

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