The Office of Naval Research has recently awarded funding in the expected amount of $1 million to Chad Jenkins for his research project on the development of physics-based methods for human tracking from video.
As a recipient of the PECASE award, Chad was eligible to apply for this substantial funding. This research pursues physically plausible methods for human motion tracking from video using algorithms for Newtonian physical simulation and models human neurobiomechanics. This work is expected to enable more accurate human tracking robust to physical interactions, such as foot contacts with various ground surfaces, and disturbances, such as inter-person collisions, as well as provide precise estimations of additional loads carried by humans observed in video, like the weight of a briefcase, and actions performed on these objects. Previous approaches to tracking that have concentrated on efficient inference algorithms, typically with strong motion constraints, will be enhanced through explicitly accounting for the physical plausibility of recovered motion. Towards this end, this research will extend methods for probabilistic human tracking to account for the dynamics of feedback control by developing and incorporating models of physical simulation.