walking like a bomber

Sarad AV jtrjtrjtr2001 at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 22 04:21:31 PST 2007

The suicide bombers will move from the cities to the
suburbs or blow themselves at market places. The
technology is impressive but is this the right


--- Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:

> Wednesday, January 17, 2007
> Walking like a Bomber
> New strides in radar and gait-analysis software show
> that it's possible to
> detect when someone is carrying a bomb well before
> he or she reaches a
> security checkpoint.
> By Karen Nitkin
> In November 2005, three suicide bombers walked into
> three hotels in Jordan and
> blew themselves up, killing 63 and injuring more
> than 100. While the world is
> alert to such deadly threats, the challenge remains:
> how to detect approaching
> suicide bombers from a safe distance. X-ray machines
> can obviously see a
> concealed bomb, but they are dangerous to
> humans--and a bomber could detonate
> himself and kill people at the checkpoint. Video
> surveillance can help, but it
> requires personnel trained to scan crowds and pick
> out suspicious
> individuals.
> A new radar-imaging technology expected to reach
> market later this year could
> solve the problem by directing low-power radar beams
> at people--who can be 50
> yards or more away--and analyzing reflected radar
> returns to reveal concealed
> objects. And early research indicates that this
> method could one day be
> augmented with video-analysis software that spots
> bombers by discerning subtle
> differences in gait that occur when people carry
> heavy objects.
> Virginia-based SET Corporation is developing both
> approaches for its
> CounterBomber, a system nearing commercialization
> that detects suicide-bomber
> suspects from a safe distance, says Thomas Burns,
> CEO of the company, which
> was founded four years ago by scientists from the
> Defense Advanced Research
> Projects Agency. Customers might include airports
> and military bases, he says.
> The device could be ready for sale by the fall of
> 2007.
> The first generation of the CounterBomber works by
> continuously steering a
> low-power radar beam toward the moving subject. The
> radar then repeatedly
> "interrogates" the subject. "The characteristics of
> the reflected radar beam
> are affected by weapons hidden beneath the
> clothing," Burns says. Signal
> processing software can detect those weapons or
> bombs without creating an
> under-the-clothes image that could violate the
> person's privacy, he says.
> And this technology is helped by novel technology
> that tracks the
> subject--thereby enabling the radar to be
> continuously aimed at the moving
> person. Software developed by Rama Chellappa, a
> professor in the department of
> electrical and computer engineering and a member of
> the University of
> Maryland's Institute for Advanced Computer Studies,
> uses a form of "gait
> recognition" to do this. It notes a person's walking
> style and physical
> attributes such as height, then uses those features
> to follow individuals as
> they move and locate them again even after they've
> been obscured by poles or
> other objects. "Rama's technology in its most basic
> form currently allows us
> to track the people more effectively, especially in
> crowds," Burns says.
> But the next generation of Chellappa's technology
> could extend the role of
> gait recognition. In early-stage research, he has
> shown that he can analyze
> the joint movements of a walking person and tell
> whether those movements are
> anomalous and possibly consistent with carrying
> heavy objects--and even
> whether the person has just deposited something on
> the ground.
> This work is at an early stage. Chellappa has
> created a model of human
> movement based on the movements of 11
> joints--including the knee, elbow, and
> hip--and established a database of normal movements
> for a variety of body
> types traveling at a variety of speeds. This forms a
> database of the normal
> range of human movements, against which videos of a
> walking person can be
> compared.
> In a November demonstration at an army research
> conference in Orlando, FL,
> Chellappa showed that his system could detect
> someone who had just
> surreptitiously deposited an object on the ground
> simply by noting changes in
> the way the person walked before and after dropping
> the object. And he is now
> developing software able to detect the gait of
> people who have a 15-pound
> object attached to their legs.
> "We have clearly made a link between humans carrying
> things with them and the
> corresponding changes in their walking pattern,"
> Chellappa says. "We see
> differences in the way people walk when they strap
> even 15 pounds to their
> ankle, but it's a very subtle thing." He concedes
> that the work is
> preliminary--and that the problem of detecting extra
> weight on a torso is a
> research challenge--but he adds, "I believe it's a
> reasonable way to approach
> it."
> His work represents a new direction for the field of
> human movement
> signatures, says Alex Vasilescu, a research
> scientist at MIT's Media Lab. Some
> gait-recognition research has shown the potential
> for early detection of
> diseases like Parkinson's. And several research
> groups are working on
> developing a way to take a person's "gait
> fingerprint." This could allow a
> video system to identify that person based on
> previously stored information.
> But Chellappa's technology requires no previous
> information about an
> individual. "It's very relevant to our times,"
> Vasilescu says. "I would like
> to know if someone is carrying a concealed weapon,
> and we'll worry about who
> that person is afterwards."
> What's really novel in this research is that rather
> than searching for a gait
> fingerprint, the technology searches for suspicious
> activities, says Thomas
> McKenna, project manager at the Office of Naval
> Research, which funded
> Chellappa's work. "It's a new way of using
> surveillance that looks at
> activities, instead of looking for people," he says.
> The first version of the CounterBomber to reach
> market won't use gait
> recognition to determine whether someone is
> threatening. Rather, this first
> version uses only the reflected radar beam to make
> the determination. But the
> next version of the technology could include gait
> recognition as a way to help
> identify suspicious activity. "By incorporating
> Rama's full gait-recognition
> technology in the next generation of our system, we
> will be able to combine
> evidence both from the radar and the video sensors
> to improve our
> discrimination performance," Burns says.
> --
> Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a>
> http://leitl.org
> ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820           
> http://www.ativel.com
> 8B29F6BE: 099D 78BA 2FD3 B014 B08A  7779 75B0 2443
> 8B29 F6BE
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