Research Highlight

Researchers of the Institute of Computer Science - FORTH received the First Award in software contest organized in Japan

Researchers at the Institute of Computer Science (ICS) Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas (FORTH) received the First Award in the “Gesture Recognition Challenge” contest with their work titled “Giving a hand to Kinect”. The contest was organized in conjunction with the “International Conference on Pattern Recognition (ICPR) 2012” in Tsukuba, Japan, 10-11 November 2012 and was sponsored by Microsoft Research, Redmond, USA. The gesture recognition challenge is part of the initiative “CHALEARN - Challenges in Machine Learning” which aims at developing computational methods that enable computers to improve their problem solving capabilities as they gain more experience.

The awarded work is part of the Computer Vision research that is carried out at FORTH-ICS. The goal of Computer Vision is to develop technical systems with visual capabilities, i.e. machines that are able to perceive and understand aspects of their environment through the processing and analysis of images. The developed methodology performs 3D tracking of human hands and hand gesture recognition. At a practical level, this technology enables natural human-computer and human-machine interaction, without requiring special training or other assistive devices (e.g., remote controls). Τhe range of possible applications is very broad. Several European, American and Asian companies have already expressed their interest in using this technology as a base for the development of applications in the fields of healthcare, education, automatic sign language understanding, interactive games development, automated robot programming, etc.

This research was partially funded by the EU FP7 projects GRASP and ROBOHOW.COG and is part of the horizontal Programme of FORTH-ICS on Ambient Intelligence and Smart Environments. The related research has already been published in top scientific journals and conference proceedings.

The FORTH-ICS members of the research team are: Nikolaos Kyriazis and Iason Oikonomidis (PhD students, Computer Science Department - University of Crete and research assistants, FORTH-ICS), Pashalis Padeleris (Software Engineer, FORTH-ICS) and Antonis Argyros (Associate Professor, Computer Science Department - University of Crete and Researcher, FORTH-ICS).

Contact Information:
Antonis Argyros, e-mail:

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