As machine vision and robotic automation evolve towards new levels of intelligence, broadcast production systems will advance as well. This will pave the way for new approaches to production, with multi-camera robot and drone setups collaborating to segment and understand unexplored scenes, and then executing all of the operational tasks handled by traditional camera crews in the past – leaving creative storytelling to humans.
At Wyss Zurich, the Seervision team of engineers, programmers and broadcasters is developing a radically new technology called “adaptive motion control.” The project is the result of years of research at ETH Zurich’s automatic control laboratory, one of the world’s top three laboratories of this kind.
The software, which is both camera- and robot-independent, incorporates image recognition, artificial intelligence, model predictive control techniques and high-speed dynamics to make autonomous video production possible. Seervision has analyzed the motion sequences of cameramen working in a variety of applications and converted them into algorithms that allow for real-time object recognition and scene segmentation. Moreover, these algorithms are continually enriched through a machine learning process, resulting in multiple robot camera setups in which each robot can not only autonomously perform all the tasks of traditional camera work, but also exchange information with other robot cameras. The final product is indistinguishable from what is produced by a team of human beings. However, the production is now controlled by a single operator, who is free to focus creatively on the big picture.
The technology developed by Seervision represents a revolutionary change in studio and sports production. It makes it possible to achieve consistently high quality with significantly lower production costs and allows for innovative production techniques.
The team’s mission is clear: to ensure that in the future, every robotic camera system will use Seervision’s adaptive motion control software.
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Nikolaos Kariotoglou joined Wyss Zurich in September 2018 as Project Leader of Seervision. He is the Co-Founder and CEO of Seervision AG. Nikolaos leads the day-to-day business and is responsible for developments, partnerships and the entire corporate strategy as well as for the acquisition of future financing rounds of Seervision AG and the support of the existing network of investors. He is also responsible for the communication strategies of Seervision AG, for the cooperation with the ETH under the official spin-off umbrella and for partnerships around innovation, research and development programs in Switzerland and the EU, which can accelerate the company's growth. Before co-founding Seervision, he studied optimization-based automatic control and stochastic systems at ETH Zurich. During his studies, he led and supervised several development projects at the ETH and was directly involved in technology transfer from research to industry in various fields and disciplines.
Reto Hofmann joined Wyss Zurich in September 2018 as Robotics Engineer of the Seervision project. He is Co-Founder and CTO of Seervision AG. Reto is responsible for technical product development, industrialization issues and research, and development. Prior to this, Reto completed a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering and robotics at ETH Zurich. During his master thesis he developed the first prototype of an autonomous camera system, which later became the products on which Seervision AG is working today. In further projects, he deepened his knowledge in topics around computer vision and control processes for cameras.
Conrad von Grebel
Conrad von Grebel joined Wyss Zurich in October 2018 as Business Developer of the Seervision project. He is Co-Founder and CMO of the Seervision AG. He is responsible for customer strategy and relationships, business development, sales and prioritization of product functions. Before that, Conrad was Co-Founder of two other successful start-ups: "dreicast gmbH", a streaming production company for corporate events, and "von Grebel Motion AG", a video production company in the institutional environment. Until the end of 2017, he was also a lecturer in multi-camera production and cinematography at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK).