The challenge

Design and develop, together with the Experimental Laboratory with Living Organisms of the Center for Advanced Studies of Blanes of the CSIC, an array of cameras to record the positions in XY and T of an ant colony, obtaining data using only Open source software, such as Python for the control of FLIR / PointGrey cameras, OpenCV for image processing and Python matplotlib libraries

The solution

A system with 12 cameras of 12 Megapixels each, located in 1460mm of the study area (a region of 2000 × 2000 mm), allows you to synchronously capture the 12 cameras at 5fps with a real resolution of 2.6pix / mm (with a binning 2 × 2).

For the design of the “hardware” of this experiment we have used the freecad software.

Detail of the support design of 3D printed cameras:

Initially we developed a GUI in Windows environment, but the latest version was developed in Linux environments.

The results

In the following video we can see how the system monitors all the movements of each member of the colony in real time

The first results obtained are excellent and allow the team to start phase 2 of the, which is expected to end in late 2019 or early 2020. It should be noted that the entire system has been designed to be used in the near future with other species and experiments.

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