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Current and Past Projects

Vehicle Inspection for Weapons of Mass Destruction (ARMY):

The objective of this project is to develop a series of mobile robots capable of inspecting a large number of vehicles entering high-value national assets for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological weapons. The expertise of the IRIS Lab. in data acquisition, data fusion, and imaging will play a central role in the design of these robots. Other universities, government agencies, and industrial partners will participate in this program led by UT.

Face Recognition Using Thermal Imaging (NAVY):

The objective of this project is to develop a face recognition module able to identify a disguised individual approaching a military facility. The IRIS Lab. will leverage a significant amount of research on face recognition in the visible spectrum developed under other programs. Imaging techniques required to detect abnormal blood flow will be developed.

Perimeter Surveillance of Large Harbor Facilities (NAVY):

The objective of this project is to develop a multi-robot naval system able to detect threat objects on large cargo vessels. The expertise of the IRIS Lab. in sensor placement, data processing and networking will play a major role in this project. Sensor simulation using two major U.S. ports are being used to validate the theory.

Video Tracking and Face Recognition in Airports (FAA):

The objective of this project is to develop an automatic system to identify violators of EXIT lanes in airports, tract these individuals, recognize their faces, and match it against a database. In this project, the IRIS Lab. coordinates with National Safe Skies, Honeywell, and ORNL.

Virtual environments for Military Vehicle Design (ARMY):

The objective of this program is to generate photo-realistic models to be used in large driving simulators to aid in the simulation and design of large combat and transport military vehicles. The IRIS Lab. provides support for TACOM in (1) image synthesis to enhance military vehicle survivability and (2) laser scanning technology for rapid prototyping of military parts in the field. In this effort, the IRIS Lab. collaborates with seven other universities and several military projects at TACOM.

Robotics and Imaging for Environmental Clean-up (DOE):

The objective of this program is to develop robotic and imaging systems capable of mapping nuclear sites to characterize, sort, and package hazardous materials for permanent storage. Three-dimensional laser imaging, sensor fusion, and robotics control strategies are some of the technologies being developed by the IRIS Lab to support DOE. The IRIS Lab. interacts with four other universities and all major national laboratories including ORNL.

Enhancement of X-ray Imaging for Airport Security (FAA):

The objective of this project is to increase the potential of identifying weapons, bombs, and other threat objects carried by passengers onto an aircraft. The IRIS Lab. has developed some unique imaging methods to identify concealed objects in carry-on luggage. On this program, the IRIS Lab. collaborates with the leading manufactures of X-ray scanning hardware and ORNL.

News and Events


bulletChannel 6 does a news story on IRIS Lab Safebot technology.
See story here.
bulletDr. Denise Jackson (IE) organized the 2004 DiscoverE day for Girl Scouts of Tanasi Council. This is a program designed to introduce girls in the 5th through 10th grades to engineering, and this year's theme was "Engineers - Turning Ideas into Reality." There were six different demonstration groups from the College of Engineering, one of which was the IRIS Lab. The girls learned image processing basics, observed two robots in action, and participated in hands-on demonstrations, including processing, coding, and operation of a PTZ camera. The girls particularly enjoyed adding processing effects to photos of their leaders and troop members.

Roselyne explains PhotoShop

Sherry leads a coding demo

The Team of Helpers
bulletDr. Abidi and a couple of the IRIS Lab projects were featured on the Jumbotron during the Marshall vs. UT Football game September 13, 2003.  The clip can be downloaded using one of the links below
bulletFull Resolution (13.6 MB)
bulletHalf Resolution (5.48 MB)
bulletQuarter Resolution (3.13 MB)
bullet Dr. Monica Schmidt (MABE) organized a 2003 visit to the College of Engineering by Girl Scouts from Tanasi Council, Inc. for "Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day."  The program entitled "Discover-E" provided 40 fifth to tenth grade girls with nine different demonstrations, one of which was the IRIS Lab.  The girls got hands on experience by getting to operate a robot for under vehicle inspection, and even laser range scanning.  Below are some pictures from the event.

Umayal demonstrates 3D computer models in VRML to a few of the girl scouts.

Sarath gives an explanation of laser range scanning using the REIGL LMS-Z210.

Rangan lets the girls have at image retouching.


bullet IRIS Lab collaborates with South Doyle High School for FIRST Robotics Competition.  Knoxville News-Sentinel Article.  Members of the IRIS Lab served as mentors for the South Doyle FIRST Robotics team.  David Page headed the IRIS Lab's involvement under the direction of Dr. Abidi.  Page was assisted by Tak Motoyama.

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