Computer and Robot Vision


Professor Mohammed Bennamoun

The Title of Speech: Computer and Robot Vision

Abstract of Speech:

Robotics has made significant progress in cases of structured and constrained environments, e.g. manufacturing. However, it is still in its infancy when it comes to applications in unstructured and unconstrained situations e.g. social environments. In some aspects such as speed, strength and accuracy, robots have superior capacities compared to humans but that is not the case for person/object recognition, language, manual dexterity, and social interaction and understanding capabilities.

Developing a computer vision system with Human visual recognition capabilities has been a very big challenge. It has been hindered mainly by: (i) the non-availability of 3D sensors (with the capabilities of the human eye) which are able to simultaneously capture appearance (colour and texture), surface shapes of objects while in motion, and (ii) the non-availability of algorithms to process this information in real-time. Recently, a number of affordable 3D sensors appeared in the market which is resulting in the development of practical 3D systems. Examples include 3D object and 3D face recognition for biometric applications, as well as the development of home robotic platforms to assist the elderly with mild cognitive impairment.

The objective of the talk will be to describe few 3D computer vision projects and tools used towards the development of a platform for assistive robotics in messy living environments. Various systems with applications and their motivations will be described including 3D object recognition, 3D face/ear biometrics, Grasping of unknown objects, and systems to estimate the 3D pose of a person.

Biography of the Speaker:

Mohammed Bennamoun received his M.Sc. from Queen's University, Kingston, Canada in the area of Control Theory, and his PhD from Queen's /Q.U.T in Brisbane, Australia in the area of Computer Vision. He lectured Robotics at Queen's, and then joined QUT in 1993 as an Associate Lecturer. He then became a Lecturer in 1996 and a Senior Lecturer in 1998 at QUT.He was also the Director of a research Centre from 1998-2002.

In Jan. 2003, he joined the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering at The University of Western Australia (UWA) as an Associate Professor and was promoted to Professor in 2007. He is currently a Winthrop Professor.He served as the Head of the School of Computer Science and Software Engineering at UWA for five years (February 2007-March 2012).

He was an Erasmus Mundus Scholar and Visiting Professor in 2006 at the University of Edinburgh. He was also Visiting Professor at CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) and Telecom Lille1, France in 2009, the Helsinki University of Technology in 2006, and the University of Bourgogne and Paris 13 in France in 2002-2003.

He is the author of four books (available on Amazon), including: ``Object Recognition: Fundamentals and Case Studies'', Springer-Verlag, 2001, `A Guide to Convolutional Neural Networks for Computer Vision', `3D Shape Analysis: Fundamentals, Theory, and Applications', and Neural Representations of Natural Language'.

He published 130+ journal and 250+ conference publications.

He won the UWA Vice-Chancellor’s Research Mentorship Award in 2016. Only one award is granted per year, in this category, across the whole UWA. He also won the UWA Award for Teaching Excellence for Research Supervision in 2016. He was congratulated for his “outstanding contributions and for going above and beyond, to inspire, support and educate”. He won the “Best Supervisor of the Year” Award at QUT. He also received an award for research supervision at UWA in 2008.

He served as a guest editor for a couple of special issues in International journals, such as a Special Issue in the IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence (IEEE TPAMI), the International Journal of Pattern Recognition and Artificial Intelligence (IJPRAI). He was selected to give conference tutorials at the European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV) and the International Conference on Acoustics Speech and Signal Processing (IEEE ICASSP), and the International Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR 2016). He was invited to deliver a tutorial at the International Summer School on Deep Learning (DeepLearn 2017).

He organized several special sessions for conferences; including a special session for the IEEE International Conference in Image Processing (IEEE ICIP). He was on the program committee of many conferences e.g. 3D Digital Imaging and Modeling (3DIM) and the International Conference on Computer Vision. He also contributed in the organisation of many local and international conferences.

His areas of interest include conmputer vision (particularly 3D) e.g., object recognition & biometrics; machine/deep learning; robotics (e.g., obstacle avoidance and robot grasping); signal/image processing; control theory.

He served as a member of the ARC College of Experts from (2012-2015 and 2019-2021). He also served as a member of the ARC ERA (Excellence Research for Australia) in 2018. He is also a member of the College of Assessors for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, New Zealand.

He is currently Senior Area Editor of the IEEE Signal Processing Letters and Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Image Processing (impact Factor = 9.34).