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New system developed to monitor physical distancing

20 Apr 2021

Makers’ Arsenal, a company that specialises in Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), has collaborated with ReUnion Oman to develop a novel system to monitor physical distancing. ReUnion specialises in Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) systems. Both are Omani companies.

The physical distance monitoring system uses Artificial Intelligence and AR to monitor physical distancing in crowded areas. It also counts the existing number of individuals present and provide visual and audible feedback when physical distance is not maintained.

The team from Makers’ Arsenal was represented by Dr Ahmed al Badi and Eng Ahmed al Ghadani, while the team from ReUnion Oman was represented by Eng Abdullah al Shukaili and Eng Mohamed al Kindi.

The project idea has stemmed from the makerspace at Kaab bin Zaid School in South Mawaleh. The students at the makerspace inspired by their experience with AR suggested the use of such technologies to combat COVID-19 pandemic.

Eng Ghadani explained, “The system uses Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) to recognise and identify individuals in a spatio-temporal space. The ANN receives input from a stereo imaging camera that can provide high resolution input with depth information for large spaces. 

“The heavy computations of this system are optimised using a novel CUDA tensor optimisation algorithm that was developed by the AI and Machine Learning specialists Eng Ahmed al Ghadani and Eng Waleeja Mateen. 

“The work has been published in the IFIP International Conference on Artificial Intelligence Applications and Innovations in the research titled ‘Tensor-Based CUDA Optimization for ANN Inferencing Using Parallel Acceleration on Embedded GPU’ in Greece 2020. The system runs on Nvidia’s Jetson AGX Xavier platform for advanced AI systems.” 

Eng Kindi added, “Combined with augmented reality, the system analysis the personal space of each identified individual in 3D space and measure the distance between each individual. This is achieved by mathematically modelling a human and their personal space in 3D space.”

Eng Ghadani further explained, “The system provides a visual bounding box that changes it colour depending on whether that individual is maintaining a minimum distance of 2m. If the distance is less than 2m, the bounding box will turn red, otherwise, it will turn to green. “Also, the system provides an adjustable audible alarm to control large crowd if physical distance was not maintained for a certain period of time. Furthermore, the system counts the number of individuals present and provides a warning if their number exceeds the maximum number allowed.”

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