The Michigan Engineer News Center

LIVE group in Vision Systems Design magazine

The March 2015 issue of Vision Systems Design features an article on the SmartDig system, which was developed by the LIVE research group led by Associate Professor Vineet Kamat. | Short Read

The article, written by Andrew Wilson, is titled, “Vision system helps avoid excavation accidents.”

“Every sixty seconds in the United States, an excavator inadvertently strikes a cable, sewer, water, gas or fiber-optic line,” the magazine states. “Not only can such accidents cause major damage, they are also expensive to rectify. To avoid such accidents occurring, excavator operators must know the exact position of any buried cables or pipes and the position of the excavator relative to them.”

The SmartDig system performs this task by employing off-the-shelf machine vision cameras and pseudo-quick response (QR) codes. This overcomes the traditional method of using grade control systems with angle sensors, global positioning systems and a laser catcher.

To read the full piece, please visit

To watch a video about SmartDig, please visit YouTube.

  • Vineet Kamat

    Vineet Kamat

person holding up sensors

Sensor technology aims to help US cities extend the life of aging pipelines

Transformative pilot project in Detroit could help cities across U.S. deal with overdue pipeline upgrades. | Medium Read