|Artificial Vision and Intelligent Systems Lab|
|Established||1996 (initiated 1990)|
The Artificial Vision and Intelligent Systems Laboratory of the University of Parma (also known as Parma VisLab or VisLab) is the artificial vision research laboratory of University of Parma, Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell'Informazione.
It started its activities in 1990, with the involvement of the researchers within the Eureka PROMETHEUS Project. Since then the research group is focused on vehicular applications. VisLab is regarded as one of the leading centers for artificial vision applied to vehicles.
VisLab, directed by Alberto Broggi, undertakes research in basic and applied computer vision; the most important field of research is the perception of the surrounding environment in vehicular applications using cameras and fusion with other sensors. Its researchers contribute to fields such as artificial vision, image processing, machine learning, neural networks, robotics, and sensor fusion. The number of researchers at VisLab increased dramatically in the last few years reaching 20 individuals, thanks to many projects with automotive industries and suppliers.
In 2009 the VisLab researchers started a spinoff company, named VisLab srl, to commercialise the results of their main researches. The University of Parma owns a share of 5%.
VisLab's results are regarded as milestones in the vehicular robotics history. Among them, the ARGO Project and the TerraMax Project. In the early years, the research group formed by Alberto Broggi, Massimo Bertozzi and Alessandra Fascioli designed, realized, and successfully tested ARGO. ARGO was a passenger car able to perceive the environment through the use of microcameras, analyze the surroundings, plan a trajectory, and drive itself on normal roads. It was tested in 1998 with a 2000+ km tour in Italy, dubbed MilleMiglia in Automatico. In this test the vehicle drove for more than 94% in automatic mode. It was the first test in the world to use off-the-shelf and low cost technology (a Pentiun 200 MHz PC and two low-cost video-phone cameras) in normal conditions of traffic, environment, and weather. Together with Carnegie Mellon's No Hands Across America and Universität der Bundeswehr's test from Munich to Odense, the MilleMiglia in Automatico is regarded as one of the milestones in vehicular robotics.
In 2005 a vehicle called TerraMax was able to successfully conclude the DARPA Grand Challenge; VisLab's vision system was its primary means of perception. Despite the large vehicle size, the vehicle was able to negotiate different terrains and detect obstacles thanks to an innovative solution based on a trinocular system that was developed by VisLab.