Author: Jane Burnett

Chronoptics-Melexis exclusive licence agreement

Chronoptics-Melexis exclusive licence agreement

Melexis, a global microelectronics engineering company, will have exclusive use of Chronoptics’ multipath and linearity error correction technologies for automotive applications. This includes ADAS for autonomous vehicles, and interior monitoring and safety systems. The companies will also work together to further improve and deploy the technology in the automotive market.

Multipath interference in Time-of-Flight cameras can, in some use cases, lead to inaccurate depth measurements under specific conditions, such as when a wide Field-of-View (FoV) is used, or when the scene contains highly reflective objects. It is typically caused by stray light and scattering due to bright reflections in the scene. Chronoptics’ patented multipath correction technology recovers the correct depth values to produce accurate and robust point clouds even in the most challenging scenarios. With future vehicle applications set to demand an even wider FoV, the technology enables Melexis’ customers to address and mitigate potential challenges in advance.

Richard Conroy, CEO, Chronoptics, said: “We are excited to partner with Melexis to deliver robust depth sensing solutions for the automotive industry. We are experts in tailoring fit-for-purpose 3D cameras that leverage our patented depth pipeline technologies and know-how to deliver clean and accurate 3D data for any application.”

https://www.melexis.com/en/news/2021/4mar2021-melexis-announces-an-exclusive-license-agreement-with-chronoptics

WaikatoLink is proud to be an investor in Chronoptics.

Positively Pregnant V2 app

Positively Pregnant V2 app

Pregnancy is a time of continuous change – not just physical, but social, emotional, and psychological. While this can be exciting, it can also be stressful. There are dozens of books, websites and apps out there that tell expectant mothers how big their baby is, what to eat and all the possible complications that might occur. There is much less about the thoughts and feelings that evolve during pregnancy, how to handle the worries, shifts in relationships, and hassles, and how to use the time during pregnancy to build resilience and plan a healthy future for the whole family. Now there’s an app that covers all that. A team from the University of Waikato School of Psychology, headed by Dr Carrie Barber, has been working for the last three years to develop Positively Pregnant – an app for pregnant women. Positively Pregnant includes tools for self-assessment, taking inventory of the mother’s strengths, stressors, support, strategies for coping, health behaviours, and more. From each of these, the woman receives feedback with links to New Zealand resources and information. Other modules include guides for talking or thinking about plans for things such as parenting, the birth, finances, and family traditions. There are activities for relaxation, affirmation, journalling, and just taking a break, as well as information related to the social and emotional side of pregnancy.
https://lnkd.in/gk-6NVt

Revolutionising car parking using AI

Revolutionising car parking using AI

WaikatoLink is working with University of Waikato AI experts and parking management company Parkable to revolutionise the car parking experience.

Researchers from the School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences are developing the new technology that could radically improve the experience of finding a car park, with the help of machine learning algorithms which monitor the car parks in a smarter way, identifying available parks from video images.

“We are prototyping a car monitoring system that uses a small, cheap camera, with a small micro-computer plugged directly into it,” explains WaikatoLink General Manager of Commercialisation, Matt McMahon, who is working with the researchers and Parkable on this collaborative project.

“The system uses machine learning models to identify cars and empty car parks so that the Parkable service can direct parkers to available parks in real time, and car park owners or administrators can monitor occupancy.”

The goal is to have a better parking experience for everyone.

Improving the car parking experience

Toby Littin, CEO of Parkable, says the current parking model is broken, characterised by monopolies, punitive infringing, and frustrating processes.

“I think there’s a really exciting future for parking. Innovative technology is the way to move toward a world where we utilise our space better and create more seamless, positive parking experiences.”

This year Parkable launched Licence Plate Recognition technology and added EV charging functionality to the platform.

Mr Littin says this venture with WaikatoLink is the next stage in bringing new, human-centred innovations to parking.

Using a mobile app to manage the car parking experience

Parkable is a mobile app which allows people, businesses, and property owners to rent out their underused parking space. Drivers use the app to find available car parks, book them in advance, and pay for parking.

Parkable also offers car park management software to enterprises that want to make better use of their parking space, through simple booking and sharing of car parks.

This new technology solution is aimed at small and medium municipal and private car park owners, with the potential to dramatically change the price point for car park management, which in New Zealand is largely controlled by big car parking management businesses.

Instead of existing in-ground technology using sensors, the new system will process video data in real-time, monitor multiple parking bays at once, and run on several cheap computers, removing the need for high bandwidth, expensive servers and cloud processing.

Machine Vision Parking

We’re excited to announce that WaikatoLink and Parkable have partnered to develop next generation parking management tech using machine learning and computer vision on the edge. WaikatoLink is developing a computer vision model for processing video images, which will be integrated into Parkable’s existing car park management software to record occupancy.

What does that mean in practice? With vision software, you could implement a camera that senses the presence of vehicles, tracking how many parking spots are available in real time. 

This is a technological solution aimed at small and medium municipal and private car park owners, with the potential to dramatically change the price point for car park management. Instead of existing in-ground technology (e.g. parking sensors), the new system will process video data in real-time, monitor multiple parking bays at once, and run on several inexpensive computers, removing the need for high bandwidth, expensive servers and cloud processing. 

This technology is being developed by researchers from University of Waikato’s machine learning group, using world-leading methods and technologies that enable machine-vision and machine-learning algorithms to operate in real-time on low-cost ‘edge’ hardware.

For further information please contact Shlok Kant shlok@waikatolink.co.nz or Matt McMahon mmcmahon@waikatolink.co.nz

The Weka Workbench

The Weka Workbench

The Weka Workbench is among the most popular machine learning frameworks in the world. It was developed by computer scientists at the University of Waikato and is used by entry-level data scientists and large multinationals alike, in applications from business intelligence to robotics. It contains a collection of data pre-processing tools and machine learning algorithms wrapped up in an easy-to-use graphical interface.

Weka is a great example of commercial open source software. By choosing a commercial open source model, WaikatoLink has made the software freely available to non-commercial users while generating revenue from issuing paid licenses to commercial users. This revenue helps to support research and continues to improve the platform.

Find out more about Weka here: https://www.cs.waikato.ac.nz/ml/weka/

SYP Automatic Fluid Sampler

Evironmental scientists and monitoring agencies analyse water samples to understand our climate, ecology, and the impact of industrialisation and human action on our environment. However, our understanding is limited by our ability to gather frequent and high-quality water samples, which are costly and time-consuming to collect.

The University of Waikato has developed the SYP Automatic Fluid Sampler, purpose-built for the requirements of field-active climate scientists, environmental researchers and water monitoring agencies. University researcher, Dr Adam Hartland, is using the device to build models that can better predict weather patterns and climate conditions. The device allows Adam and his team to conduct rigorous research in new, remote areas.

The prototype unit is in field testing and delivers:

  • Reliable collection and storage of up to 58 discrete, silicon-sealed samples
  • Up to 12 months of continuous operation using AA batteries
  • Gravity-fed or pumped sample collection
  • Concurrent data logging of temperature, pressure, humidity, full vial events
  • Easy transport by disassembly into two halves. Custom carry-bags available.
  • Easy set-up and configuration using an intuitive smartphone app
  • Highly programmable sampling schedules based on time or sensor data

The device will be ready for manufacture and sale in Q4 2020. For pre-orders and further information contact Doug Hillyer dhillyer@waikatolink.co.nz or Matt McMahon mmcmahon@waikatolink.co.nz

Solutions Lab & Bioactives Refinery project

Solutions Lab & Bioactives Refinery project

Congratulations to Federation of Māori Authorities (FOMA), Te Awanui and Ligar on the launch of the Solutions Lab and Bioactives Refinery Project on 13 August 2020.

The Solutions Lab will focus on high-value horticulture and plant-based food opportunities and is part of FOMA’s vision to create a high-tech, innovation-based Māori economy and accelerate this by leveraging off the post-Covid recovery.

Te Awanui has largely funded the first Solutions Lab as it seeks to grow revenue through expanding and deepening the impact of horticultural activities, exploring new product ranges, and building capacity.

The Bioactives Refinery Project is a partnership between Te Awanui and the clean technology company Ligar. The project will target bioactive molecules, extracted from plants and refined using Ligar’s unique purification technology, which have commercial potential. The project has begun reviewing the bioactive content in the waste streams from avocado and kiwifruit production. Other plant species, such as hops, hemp seeds and seaweed, as well as native flora species, will be reviewed in the future.

Te Awanui and Ligar are actively seeking commercialisation partners.

WaikatoLink is proud to be an investor in Ligar.

Positively Pregnant app

In July 2020, the Prime Minister signalled more support for maternity mental health https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12351533. Jacinda Ardern pointed to the recent additional funding, announced by the Associate Minister of Health, which “includes $16 million in community maternity work, which will allow us to do things like a maternal mental health pilot and support programmes.”

One of the most challenging transitions in a person’s life is becoming a parent – this involves physical, psychological, social, economic and practical changes, which may become stressors. Researchers at the University of Waikato have created a framework of techniques based on positive psychology to manage these stressors. Lead researcher, Dr Carrie Barber, is a consultant psychologist, a Senior Lecturer in Clinical and Developmental Psychology and has 15 years’ experience in supporting new families during pregnancy and the transition to parenting. With her students, Dr Barber developed an app, available in the iOS and Android app stores, to translate this framework and trial it with New Zealand women.

This app provides a flexible range of tools and strategies to help parents think, plan and find the resources and strategies that work for them and their families. This is based on the CCCC model:

  • Challenges: helping parents identify their challenges
  • Choices: make choices that promote healthy development for themselves and their children
  • Control: focus on aspects of their lives they can control, accept and manage those aspects they cannot
  • Coping: developing personalised menu of adaptive coping strategies

WaikatoLink is currently developing an updated version of the app with improved visuals and are helping to deliver and promote it to the wider community. We’re looking for support from corporates, health groups, mental health organisations, primary care groups, midwives associations, district health boards, NGOs and any other interested groups, please contact Anna Henning ahenning@waikatolink.co.nz or Shlok Kant shlok@waikatolink.co.nz for more details.

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