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ECE Inventors Win UMD Invention of the Year Award

ECE Inventors Win UMD Invention of the Year Award

Aravind Sundaresan (right) poses with ECE Chair Dr. Patrick O'Shea (left).
ECE Professor Rama Chellappa (ECE/CS/UMIACS) and ECE Ph.D. student Aravind Sundaresan won the University of Maryland Invention of the Year Award in the Information Science category for their invention, "Markerless Motion Capture." The award was presented on Thursday, April 19, 2007 at the University's 20th annual Invention of the Year Awards, sponsored by the Office of Technology Commercialization.

Chellappa and Sundaresan describe markerless motion capture as the activity of analyzing and expressing human motion in mathematical terms. The UMD researchers model the human body as a set of super-quadrics, or three-dimensional objects, that are connected in an articulated structure, and propose algorithms to estimate the parameters of the model from video sequences. This model marks an advancement from previous human motion capture methods, which use passive markers that are attached to different body parts of the subject and are therefore intrusive in nature.

Dr. Rama Chellappa
This technology has important applications in biomechanics, computer animation, and human-computer interaction. Specifically, the researchers' software can be used in homeland security initiatives, sports instruction, such as improving one's golf swing, motion picture animation and simulation, and patient rehabilitation.

The researchers' ultimate objective is to build a completely automated markerless motion capture system. This technology is currently licensed in the field of sports. A U.S. patent application is pending.

Sundaresan was on hand at the ceremony to accept the award on behalf of Dr. Chellappa, who was away at a conference.

For more information about the University of Maryland Invention of the Year Awards, visit the Office of Technology Commercialization website.

April 19, 2007

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