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CCG – Centro de Computação Gráfica

Urban Probe – Urban spaces monitoring system based on computer vision


The Urban Probe project fits the area of electronic surveillance. It consisted in the research and development of a sensor prototype based on computer vision, capable of monitoring large areas.

The output of the sensor is the contextual information extracted from the image after processing, rather than video information. Thus many aspects related to privacy are naturally overcome. The system architecture is intended to provide scalable solutions and be adaptable to different contexts of use, providing objective information, in real time, a non-cooperative manner (ie, wherein the subjects does not cooperate in any way)..

We developed a set of applications to meet the following requirements:

  • Detection, counting and tracking of people and vehicles;
  • Extract information concerning the behavior of people;
  • Quantify the number of vacant or busy parking spaces;
  • Work on different camera perspectives;
  • Possibility of choose one of the sensors as central unit responsible for receiving data from all other sensors and process the information, managing the trajectory and identity of objects along different sensors, able to trigger predefined generic alarms;
  • Configuration backoffice remotely accessible.

The development of these applications was adjusted to work on an inexpensive embedded system (single-board), with Linux operating system, which is coupled with one light sensor.

The system is easily adaptable and so it can be used in different scenarios and markets, of which we highlight three major areas: 1) The urban management that is sensitive to the analysis of population and traffic migration; 2) The intelligent video surveillance in a security context; 3) Support for marketers and creatives.

Client: Enermeter - Sistemas de Medição, LDA.

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