SwisTrack: A Tracking Tool for Multi-Unit Robotic and Biological Systems
Tracking of miniature robotic platforms involves major challenges in image recognition and data association. We present our 3-year effort into developing the platform-independent, easy-to-use, and robust tracking software SwisTrack, which is tailored to research in swarm robotics and behavioral biology. We demonstrate the software and algorithms abilities using two case studies, tracking of a swarm of cockroaches, and a swarm-robotic inspection task, while outlining hard problems in tracking and data-association of marker-less objects. Tracking accuracy of a moving robot with respect to camera noise and the calibration model are calculated experimentally. Its open, platform-independent architecture, and easy-to-use interfaces (MatlabTM, JavaTM, and C++), allowing for (distributed) post-processing of trajectory data online, make the software highly adaptive to particular research projects without changes to the source code. SwisTrack is publicly available on Sourceforge.net under the OSI Adaptive License and contributions from the robotics and biology community are encouraged.