Supporting Drone Technology with Image and Video Annotation

May 13, 2021

Drones have very quickly become an everyday feature of our lives. From Hollywood movies to children's toys, the efficiency and efficacy of drones has led to their adoption by a wide range of industries. Now drones are beginning to be paired with computer vision based AI models.

This combination has a enormous number of potential applications, with many sectors utilising drones that are capable of flying autonomously and analysing their environment intelligently.

However, numerous challenges still remain for AI drone development. In order to construct the best machine learning systems innovators need access to the best image and video training data. As challenges arise professional annotations services, such as Keymakr, are helping clients to overcome them by providing accurately labeled data to feed hungry algorithms.

This blog will address a number of these areas of friction and detail how outsourced annotation can help smooth the process.

Aerial video annotation for traffic monitoring | Keymakr

Assisting Drone AI Development

  • Video Annotation: Training data for drone AI features large quantities of video. Annotating video accurately can be a challenge for startups and even larger organisations. Even short videos of drone operations contain thousands of individual frames. Annotating each one is a significant investment of time and resources. Setting up an in-house video annotation production line from nothing can be a distraction and a drain on expertise for most companies.

Solution: Annotation services, like Keymakr, are able to scale up video annotation to whatever level is necessary for a given smart drone project. This time consuming task is therefore taken off the hands of developers, and fulfilled by proprietary annotation tools operated by experienced staff.

Aerial video annotation | Keymakr
  • Object Detection: A primary task for many computer vision drone models is object detection. For example a drone monitoring traffic needs to be able to identify individual vehicles on the road and calculate how many of them there are in a particular area. Correctly categorising and analysing the presence of objects allows for a myriad of applications for drones.

Solution: Annotation teams can employ bounding boxes to locate and name objects in training images. Bounding boxes have the advantage of being quick to draw around objects. This is useful when zoomed out drone images may feature hundreds of individual objects.

Object detection | Keymakr
  • Irregular Shape Detection: Smart drone cameras need to be able to analyse an entire landscape and this involves many irregular or unique shapes. In order to identify a bridge a drone needs to be shown many images in which the contours of a bridge are precisely delineated.

Solution: Skilled annotators can make use of polygon annotation to label unusual shapes in training imagery. Polygon annotation uses lines connected by vertices to map out the contours of any complex object.

Irregular shape detection | Keymakr
  • Construction Progress Tracking: One exciting use case for aerial AI is monitoring the progress of construction projects. The AI model is able to compare what it is seeing now with images from earlier in the building process. It can then assess how much has been achieved and how much is left to do. This has the potential to help construction managers keep large scale projects on time and under budget.

Solution: The development of this monitoring capacity can be facilitated by diligent annotation services. Experienced annotation teams are able to quickly and affordably create suites of training data in which differences between images are annotated precisely.

Construction progress tracking | Keymakr
  • Weather and Low Light: Drones have the capacity to operate in a wide range of weather and light conditions. However, training image and video data often does not feature the same diverse outdoor scenarios.

    Solution: Professional data annotation services are extremely responsive to the particular needs of a project. Troubleshooting is much easier when working with in-house teams who are dedicated to filling gaps in training sets.

Video Annotation for Aerial AI

Keymakr leverages an in-house team of experienced annotators overseen by quality focused managers to meet the demands of today’s aerial AI leaders. Contact a team member to book your personalized demo today.

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