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HAIKU project takes off!!

The European HAIKU project is taking off! The kick-off meeting took place in Lisbon on September 7th, 2022.

The goal of HAIKU is to develop a human-centric AI by exploring interactive AI prototypes in a variety of aviation contexts. A key challenge HAIKU faces is to develop human-centric digital assistants that will fit the way humans work.

It is essential both for safe operations, and for society in general, that the people who currently keep aviation so safe can work with, train and supervise these AI systems, and that future autonomous AI systems make judgements and decisions that would be acceptable to humans. HAIKU will pave the way for human-centric-AI by developing new AI-based ‘Digital Assistants’, and associated Human-AI Teaming practices, guidance and assurance processes, via the exploration of interactive AI prototypes in a wide range of aviation contexts.

Therefore, HAIKU will:

  • Design and develop a set of AI assistants, demonstrated in the different use cases.
  • Develop a comprehensive Human Factors design guidance and methods capability (‘HF4AI’) on how to develop safe, effective and trustworthy Digital Assistants for Aviation, integrating and expanding on existing state-of-the-art guidance.
  • Conduct controlled experiments with high operational relevance – illustrating the tasks, roles, autonomy and team performance of the Digital Assistant in a range of normal and emergency scenarios.
  • Develop new safety and validation assurance methods for Digital Assistants, to facilitate early integration into aviation systems by aviation stakeholders and regulatory authorities.
  • Deliver guidance on socially acceptable AI in safety critical operations, and for maintaining aviation’s strong safety record.

DFKI participates with two departments: Augmented Vision and Cognitive Assistants

Contact: Dr. Alain Pagani, Narek Minaskan

VIZTA Project successfully concluded after 42 months

The Augmented Vision department of DFKI participated in the VIZTA project, coordinated by ST Microelectronics, aiming at developing innovative technologies in the field of optical sensors and laser sources for short to long-range 3D-imaging and to demonstrate their value in several key applications including automotive, security, smart buildings, mobile robotics for smart cities, and industry4.0.

The final project review was successfully completed in Grenoble, France on November 17th-18th, 2022. The schedule included presentations on the achievements of all partners as well as live demonstrators of the developed technologies. DFKI presented their smart building person detection demonstrator based on a top-down view from a Time-of-flight (ToF) camera, developed in cooperation with the project partner IEE. A second demonstrator, showing an in-cabin monitoring system based on a wide-field-of-view, which is installed in DFKIs lab has been presented in a video.

During VIZTA, several key results were obtained at DFKI on the topics of in-car and smart building monitoring including:

Figure 1: In-car person and object detection (left), and top-down person detection and tracking for smart building applications (right).

Contact: Dr. Jason Rambach, Dr. Bruno Mirbach

DFKI Augmented Vision Researchers win two awards in Object Pose Estimation challenge (BOP Challenge, ECCV 2022)

DFKI Augmented Vision researchers Yongzhi Su, Praveen Nathan and Jason Rambach received their 1st place award in the prestigious BOP Challenge 2022 in the categories Overall Best Segmentation Method and The Best BlenderProc-Trained Segmentation Method.

The BOP benchmark and challenge addresses the problem of 6-degree-of-freedom object pose estimation, which is of great importance for many applications such as robot grasping or augmented reality. This year, the BOP challenge was held within the “Recovering 6D Object Pose” Workshop at the European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV) in Tel Aviv, Israel . A total award of $4000 was distributed among the winning teams of the BOP challenge, donated by Meta Reality Labs and Niantic.

The awards were received by Dr. Jason Rambach on behalf of the DFKI Team and a short presentation of the method followed. The winning method was based on the CVPR 2022 paper “ZebraPose”  

ZebraPose: Coarse to Fine Surface Encoding for 6DoF Object Pose Estimation
Yongzhi Su, Mahdi Saleh, Torben Fetzer, Jason Raphael Rambach, Nassir Navab, Benjamin Busam, Didier Stricker, Federico Tombari

The winning approach was develop by a team led by DFKI AV, with contributing researchers from TU Munich and Zhejiang University.

Contact: Yongzhi Su, Dr. Jason Rambach

Dr. Jason Rambach with the award
Kick-Off for EU Project “HumanTech”

Our Augmented Vision department is the coordinator of the new large European project “HumanTech”. The Kick-Off meeting was held on July 20th, 2022, at DFKI in Kaiserslautern. Please read the whole article here: Artificial intelligence for a safe and sustainable construction industry (

ICPR 2022: Best Paper Award

We are proud to have received a Best Paper Award at this year’s ICPR. Please take a look at this article for more information: Machine Learning with Synthetic Data – Research Unit Augmented Vision receives Best Paper Award at ICPR 2022 (

HCII 2022: Two papers accepted

We are pleased to announce that the Augmented Vision group presented two papers at the HCI International 2022 Conference from June 28th to July 1st, 2022.

The two accepted papers are:

Title: Learning Effect of Lay people in Gesture-Based Locomotion in Virtual Reality

Authors: Alexander Schäfer, Gerd Reis, Didier Stricker

Abstract: Locomotion in Virtual Reality (VR) is an important part of VR applications. Many scientists are enriching the community with different variations that enable locomotion in VR. Some of the most promising methods are gesture-based and do not require additional handheld hardware. Recent work focused mostly on user preference and performance of the different locomotion techniques. This ignores the learning effect that users go through while new methods are being explored. In this work, it is investigated whether and how quickly users can adapt to a hand gesture-based locomotion system in VR. Four different locomotion techniques are implemented and tested by participants. The goal of this paper is twofold: First, it aims to encourage researchers to consider the learning effect in their studies. Second, this study aims to provide insight into the learning effect of users in gesture-based systems.

Title: Human intelligent machine teaming in single pilot operation: A case study

Authors: Nareg Minaskan Karabid, Charles-Alban Dormoy, Alain Pagani, Jean-Marc Andre, Didier Stricker

Abstract: With recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and learning based systems, industries have started to integrate AI components into their products and workflows. In areas where frequent testing and development is possible these systems have proved to be quite useful such as in automotive industry where vehicle are now equipped with advanced driver-assistant systems (ADAS) capable of self-driving, route planning, and maintaining safe distances from lanes and other vehicles. However, as the safety-critical aspect of task increases, more difficult and expensive it is to develop and test AI-based solutions. Such is the case in aviation and therefore, development must happen over longer periods of time and in a step-by-step manner. This paper focuses on creating an interface between the human pilot and a potential assistant system that helps the pilot navigate through a complex flight scenario. Verbal communication and augmented reality (AR) were chosen as means of communication and the verbal communication was carried out in a wizard-of-Oz (WoOz) fashion. The interface was tested in a flight simulator and its usefulness was evaluated by NASA-TLX and SART questionnaires for workload and situation awareness.


Please check out the article “Artificial intelligence for a safe and sustainable construction industry (” concerning the new EU project HumanTech which is coordinated by Dr. Jason Rambach, head of the Spatial Sensing and Machine Perception team (Augmented Reality/Augmented Vision department, Prof. Didier Stricker) at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) in Kaiserslautern.

Paper accepted at ICPRS-2022

We are happy to announce that our paper titled

Deep Orientation-Guided Gender Recognition from Face Images
Mohamed Selim, Stephan Krauß, Tewodros Amberbir Habtegebrial, Alain Pagani, Didier Stricker

has been accepted and presented (online) at the 12th International Conference on Pattern Recognition Systems, ICPRS-2022.

In this paper, we present a novel deep learning-based method to predict gender using both the face image and the head orientation angles. We show that the use of head orientation information consistently boosts the accuracy of gender prediction models. We achieve this by increasing the representational power of deep neural networks by introducing a head orientation adapter.

Contact: Mohamed Selim

Technical meeting of the INFINITY consortium in Sheffield, UK

The INFINITY consortium had a successful technical meeting in preparation of the upcoming pilot in Sheffield, UK on July 5th, 2022.

The EU project INFINITY aim at delivering an integrated solution for data-driven criminal investigations, synthesising the latest innovations in virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence and machine learning with big data and visual analytics. The result of the project will be a platform for collaborative work between Law Enforcement Agencies, where teamwork will be facilitated in virtual spaces and supported by AI-based data analytics.

DFKI is partnering with 19 partners to deliver an innovative solution. DFKI is working on virtual representations and avatars systems, and on an AI-based assistant to help investigation work.

More information:

Contact: Dr. Alain Pagani

Augmented Vision @CVPR 2022

DFKI Augmented Vision had a strong presence in the recent CVPR 2022 Conference held on June 19th-23rd, 2022, in New Orleans, USA. The IEEE/CVF Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Conference (CVPR) is the premier annual computer vision event internationally. Homepage: .

Overall, three publications were presented:

1. ZebraPose: Coarse to Fine Surface Encoding for 6DoF Object Pose Estimation
Yongzhi Su, Mahdi Saleh, Torben Fetzer, Jason Raphael Rambach, Nassir Navab, Benjamin Busam, Didier Stricker, Federico Tombari

2. SOMSI: Spherical Novel View Synthesis with Soft Occlusion Multi-Sphere Images Tewodros A Habtegebrial, Christiano Gava, Marcel Rogge, Didier Stricker, Varun Jampani

3. Unsupervised Anomaly Detection from Time-of-Flight Depth Images
Pascal Schneider, Jason Rambach, Bruno Mirbach , Didier Stricker