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Crime detection to enter new era

19 December 2013

Chris Theobald

Postgraduate student wins prestigious international award

A postgraduate student from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has won an international competition run by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Vision and Imaging Network.

Soumitra Sakhalkar, an international student from Mumbai, India won the best MSc Project award having devised an application for a mobile surveillance robot which can detect visual changes to an indoor environment.

The work employs image acquisition and processing technology operating on a compact robotics system to navigate around a controlled environment, initially under user guidance.

The system recalls the user-guided path for subsequent automated route traversals, and compares images acquired from each traversal to determine differences. This straightforward and simple approach enables low-cost access to vision and imaging technology for security uses.

“I’m delighted my work has been recognised through the award of this prestigious prize. It’s been hard work but immensely satisfying.”

“The application I’ve developed has the potential to enhance the role provided by security services within a number of environments including universities,” said Soumitra.

“The idea enables the robot to highlight objects mistakenly left behind in a classroom or identify when objects have been removed after the building has been closed.

“The aim was to produce a device which could help security personnel who every night patrol a huge number of areas within a university estate.

“I’m delighted my work has been recognised through the award of this prestigious prize. It’s been hard work but immensely satisfying.”

“Winning this project award is a fantastic achievement for both Soumitra and the University.”

William Stott, Chair of IET Vision and Imaging Network, added: “Soumitra’s work showed a high level of technical expertise in image processing as well as a range of other disciplines.

“He also impressed the judges by providing a complete solution which has clear potential for commercial exploitation.”

Project supervisor Lik-Kwan Shark, UCLan’s Professor of Signal and Image Processing, added: “Winning this project award is a fantastic achievement for both Soumitra and the University.

“The project has clearly inspired him because he’s now about to embark on an even greater challenge by pursuing a PhD in image processing.”

On 16th December Soumitra was presented with his prize, a cheque for £100, at the 5th International Conference on Imaging for Crime Prevention and Detection at Kingston University.