University of Oxford (UOXF)

The Department of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford has an international reputation for its research in all the major branches of engineering, and in emerging areas such as information engineering, biomedical engineering, energy and the environment. We place a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary and collaborative work, both within engineering science and across the physical, medical and life sciences. The Department has an excellent record of engagement with industry, and of translating research results into real-world applications, and has generated numerous successful spin-out companies. Its research output placed it as the top general engineering department in the UK’s latest Research Excellence Framework exercise. The Active Vision Laboratory (www.robots.ox.ac.uk/ActiveVision), founded by the proposer in 1989, has
maintained as its two core research themes (i) monocular 3D scene reconstruction and camera localization; with (ii) 3D object detection, reconstruction and tracking. Our research outputs have been applied to engineered prototype systems for surveillance, teleoperation, navigation and, more recently, wearables and augmented reality (AR). We develop visual methods and hardware which respect the constraints (i) that processing should take place on the ephemeral live video stream and (ii) that computing resource should be allocated in a layered fashion so that basic operations are not jeopardized by more complex visual goals. The lab published the first recognizable visual SLAM method in 1998, and has since produced several notable methods sparse methods (monoSLAM, PTAM) and has more recently moved into dense methods, producing InfiniTAM for mobile devices. The lab has considerable experience with object description and tracking using both visual and depth data.