Monday, December 12, 2011

Punny title goes here

“Free” is usually a good word. Especially when it precedes “machine vision software”. That’s why I clicked on a link that took me to the Ctrax website.

Ctrax is “an open-source, freely available, machine vision program for estimating the positions and orientations of many walking flies, maintaining their individual identities over long periods of time.”

Leaving aside the question of what is a walking fly – isn’t a fly that doesn’t, a “walk”? – I was surprised to learn that flies even have individual identities. I guess this just shows I lack the kind of education and brains needed to get in to CalTech, where the Ctrex development team are based.

But on a more serious note, it strikes me that this software tool may have other applications. I can for example see it as a low cost video analytics tool for anyone who wants to study the ebb and flow of people through a doorway. Or perhaps there’s a killer app in manufacturing that I just don’t have the imagination to see.

Wherever it gets used, there’s no doubt that those CalTech folks are a pretty smart bunch. One might even say, there’s no flies on them! (You may groan now.)

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