Recently Captured Video Sequences

About ACONE:

The Ivory Billed Woodpecker is a magnificent creature, believed to be extinct, that is of great interest to birdwatchers, ornithologists, and conservationists. The last confirmed U.S. sighting was in the 1940s. In January 2004, a potential sighting occurred in the Bayou DeView wildlife refuge in Arkansas, prompting comprehensive and systematic search led by researchers at Cornell University.

In Fall 2005, we offered to assist the search effort by developing a high resolution robotic video system to observe the sky over an extended time period. We are now collaborating with the Cornell team and designing a new camera system in conjunction with our existing NSF project to develop collaborative observatories for natural environments.

Detailed high resolution video images are required to distinguish an ivory-billed woodpecker from its cousin, the common pileated woodpecker. Our goal is to develop a computer vision system that detects when birds fly into the field of view, recording the associated video segments, and discarding video where there are no birds present. Subsequent analysis by human experts (perhaps with computer post processing) will be required to sift through the Gigabytes of video data collected. The system is to be installed in a clearing in the Bayou DeView, which is mostly swamp. Some challenges are: lack of network connectivity, variations and noise in sky images, limited power supply, high temperatures and moisture conditions.

The first prototype Automated Collaborative Observatory for Natural Environments, ACONE 1.0, will incorporate two Arecont Vision 3 Megapixel video cameras and one 1.4 GHz MiniITX computer. We installed the first pair of ACONE cameras in October 2006.

  - Dez Song and Ken Goldberg


ACONE Installation Log (Oct 25-Oct 29, 2006)

Installation Site

Powerline cut, Bayou Deview, Brinkley, Arkansas.


Two cameras and one control box.

Software and Testing

Motion detection, motion classification, and bird segmentation.


Media Coverage
Frequently Downloaded Images

An interesting image
NSF Awards 0643298, 0534848, and 0535218
Robotics and Robust Intelligence Program
Division of Information and Intelligent Systems
Directorate for Computer Science and Engineering
National Science Foundation

Last update: Friday Apr. 20 17:26:06 CDT 2007