The Senseable City Lab (SCL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has implemented an experimental sensor data stream using C2RO Robotics’ cloud platform. This experiment was part of a recent SCL project aiming to equip a single-purpose streetlight with various sensors to create a multi-functional digital platform and provide services such as pedestrian detection in modern cities.
Thermal cameras were used for this data-streaming experience. They have enormous potential for data insights because of their ability to detect pedestrians even in various light and weather conditions, without compromising individual privacy.
In the past, turning thermal data into information on pedestrian traffic has been a challenge because of the processor-intensive task of sensory analysis. But now, C2RO’s platform eliminates the need for expensive on-camera processing power by moving the heavy lifting to the cloud, thereby significantly reducing implementation costs and expanding commercial uses of the technology.
Cloud platform enables urban, industrial IoT
“The Internet of Things will soon change the way we live and work in the cities. As the number of connected things increases, we would need better ways to process and organize the huge amount of data generated by them,” said Dr. Amin Anjomshoaa, the project lead at MIT. “Cloud-based services such as C2RO’s platform are the perfect counterpart for IoT solutions, which facilitate creating elaborated services for smart cities.”
Montreal-based C2RO’s cloud platform analyzes image feedback from the distributed thermal cameras to autonomously detect the presence of people. The C2RO dashboard displays image feedback in real time, showing a constant count of humans in the frame and activity over time.
Collecting pedestrian traffic data at scale could have major implications for crowd-control efforts, autonomous vehicles, and disaster relief, where the value of human detection would be measured in lives saved. The cloud platform technology will be especially useful for urban planning professionals and emergency monitoring systems, which can more easily glean information about metro areas.
“This application showcased the performance and scalability benefits of the integration with our ready-to-use SaaS platform for any large-scale robotics or sensor-based projects,” said Dr. Soodeh Farokhi, founder and chief technology officer of C2RO. “We enable customers to focus on the unique part of their products, while offloading the computational burden to our scalable and secure cloud solution and saving up to 10 times the cost of necessary hardware.”
C2RO grants a scalable Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution, with almost no computation required in the device (sensor) side. Backed by a proprietary technology and six years’ worth of research, the real-time data processing technology allows for sensors spread even across the country to connect together, enhancing the accumulated insight of data collected. These analytics are augmented by machine learning modules running on the cloud, allowing for a wide range of smart cities and device/robot collaboration use cases.
A spokesman said that C2RO is the only company managing this type of real-time data processing, thanks to patent-pending technology developed with Indiana University.
C2RO’s beta product is expected to be released to a wider audience of users in the upcoming weeks. Visit C2RO’s website for more product information.
With increasing demand for a more data-driven understanding of our future world, such urban projects are a major breakthrough in learning more about diverse and populous metropolitan areas.
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C2RO Robotics offers a SaaS platform that uses real-time data processing technologies to enable artificial intelligence software solutions for any sensor, device, or robot in a fast, secure, scalable and inexpensive manner. It augments the perception and collaboration capabilities of devices even those low-cost with limited sensing and computation resources. You can visit C2RO online at c2ro.com, and sign up for C2RO’s product beta release, or find its recent paper, “Real-Time Cloud Robotics in Practical Smart City Applications,” at IEEE PIMRC 2017.