SoftBank Robotics documentation What's new in NAOqi 2.8?


NAOqi Vision - Overview | API

What it does

ALMovementDetection allows you to detect movement in the field of view of the SoftBank Robotics robots.

The SoftBank Robotics robots use the 3d camera if available, otherwise they use the RGB camera.

How it works

Frames are collected at a regular interval and each new frame is compared with the previous one. The pixels for which the difference is above a threshold are identified as “moving pixels”. Then all the “moving pixels” are clustered using both their physical proximity and their value difference.

For SoftBank Robotics robots without 3d camera, it is possible to change the threshold using: - ALMovementDetectionProxy::setColorSensitivity

For SoftBank Robotics robots with 3d camera, it is possible to change the threshold using: - ALMovementDetectionProxy::setDepthSensitivity

ALMemory key

Each time some movement is detected, the ALMemory key MovementDetection/MovementInfo is updated and an ALMemory event, MovementDetection/MovementDetected, is raised.

The memory key contains the information about the different clusters of “moving” pixels. It is organized as follows:

MovementInfo =
  [ClusterInfo_1, ClusterInfo_2, ... ClusterInfo_n],

TimeStamp: this field is the time stamp of the image that was used to perform the detection.

TimeStamp [

ClusterInfo_i: each of these fields contains the description of a “moving” cluster. It has the following structure, depending on the type of camera:

RGB camera

ClusterInfo_i(RGB) =

Depth camera

ClusterInfo_i(Depth) =

All cameras

  • PositionOfCog = [x,y] contains the angular coordinates (in radians) of the center of gravity of the cluster with respect to the center of the used camera.
  • AngularRoi = [x,y,width, height] contains information about the smallest rectangle (ROI) in which the cluster is included. [x,y] corresponds to the angular coordinates (in radians) of the top left corner of the ROI in the current depth image. [width, height] corresponds to the angular size (in radians) of the ROI.
  • ProportionMovingPixels = [In_Frame, In_Roi] corresponds to the proportion of “moving” pixels. In_Frame is the proportion relative to the total number of pixels in the frame and In_Roi is the proportion relative to the number of pixels in the ROI of the cluster.

Depth camera only

  • MeanDistance is the mean distance of the points of the cluster, with respect to the depth camera (only for 3D detection).
  • RealSizeRoi = [realwidth, realheight] gives the real size (in meters) of the ROI of the cluster (only for 3D detection).
  • PositionOfAssociatedPoint = [x,y]. Using the segmentation of the initial depth image, it is possible to extract the blob that moved. It is then possible to find the top pixel of this blob, by going up from its center of gravity. [x,y] are the angular coordinates (in radians) of this pixel. These coordinates can, for example, be very useful to look at the head of a person that just moved, instead of looking at the center of gravity of the movement (only for 3D detection).

CameraPose_InTorsoFrame: describes the Position6D of the camera at the time the image was taken, in FRAME_TORSO.

CameraPose_InRobotFrame: describes the Position6D of the camera at the time the image was taken, in FRAME_ROBOT.

Camera_Id: gives the Id of the camera used for the detection.

Performances and limitations

The algorithm used for movement detection only works if the camera is not moving. Therefore, when the robot is moving, the detection is automatically disabled: the events are not raised and the memory keys are not updated.