Three Energid Engineers Receive A NASA Space Act Award For Their Inventions And Contributions For NASA

Cambridge, Massachusetts (June 5, 2008) — The NASA Inventions and Contributions Board granted Chu-Yin Chang, Neil Tardella, and James English a Space Act award for their inventions and contributions that have helped NASA to achieve its technical goals. These three engineers developed a system for recognizing and tracking 3D objects with visual cameras. The technology for which Energid was given this award is available through its robotic vision software toolkit. This C++ toolkit provides identification of object type, 3D orientation, and 3D position. It has application across a broad range of robotic problems. The technology uses spatial and temporal components and includes reasoning with calculations performed on Graphical Processing Units, as found in PC graphics cards. Spatial processing includes segmentation of an object from the background; initial assessment of type, position, orientation, and geometry using innovative matching algorithms; and refinement of position and orientation that leverages real-time rendering. Temporal processing combines multiple spatial results over time. Advantages of Energid’s approach include real-time application, precise determination of 3D position and orientation, and the flexibility to use one or multiple cameras. The techniques and software support all lighting conditions, and the method of application is fully configurable using XML. Example applications of this technology include vehicle detection and tracking, medical systems, manufacturing, inspection, robotic grasping and manipulation, and harvesting.