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Energy-efficient Object Detection and Tracking on Embedded Smart Cameras by Hardware-level Operations at the Image Sensor

Abstract: Embedded smart cameras have limited processing power, memory and energy. In this paper, we introduce two methodologies to increase the energy-efficiency and the battery-life of an embedded smart camera by hardware-level operations when performing object detection and tracking. We use the CITRIC platform as our embedded smart camera. We first perform down-sampling at hardware-level on the microcontroller of the image sensor rather than performing software-level down-sampling at the main microprocessor of the camera board. In addition, instead of performing object detection on whole image, we first estimate the location of the target in the next frame, form a search region around it, then crop the next frame by using the HREF and VSYNC signals at the microcontrollerof the image sensor, and perform detection and tracking only in the cropped search region. Thus, the amount of data that is moved from the image sensor to the main memory at each frame, is greatly reduced. Thanks to reduced data transfer, better use of the memory resources and not occupying the main microprocessor with image down-sampling and cropping tasks, we obtain significant savings in energy consumption and battery-life. Experimental results show that hardware-level down-sampling and cropping, and performing detection in cropped regions provide 54:14% decrease in energy consumption, and 121:25% increase in battery-life compared to performing software-level downsampling and processing whole frame.


M., Casares; Santinelli, Paolo; S., Velipasalar; Prati, Andrea; Cucchiara, Rita "Energy-efficient Object Detection and Tracking on Embedded Smart Cameras by Hardware-level Operations at the Image Sensor" Proceedings of CVPR 2011 Workshops, Colorado Springs, CO (USA), pp. 1 -8 , 20 June 2010, 2011

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