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MOBDrone: A Drone Video Dataset for Man OverBoard Rescue

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS,volume 13232)


Modern Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) equipped with cameras can play an essential role in speeding up the identification and rescue of people who have fallen overboard, i.e., man overboard (MOB). To this end, Artificial Intelligence techniques can be leveraged for the automatic understanding of visual data acquired from drones. However, detecting people at sea in aerial imagery is challenging primarily due to the lack of specialized annotated datasets for training and testing detectors for this task. To fill this gap, we introduce and publicly release the MOBDrone benchmark, a collection of more than 125K drone-view images in a marine environment under several conditions, such as different altitudes, camera shooting angles, and illumination. We manually annotated more than 180K objects, of which about 113K man overboard, precisely localizing them with bounding boxes. Moreover, we conduct a thorough performance analysis of several state-of-the-art object detectors on the MOBDrone data, serving as baselines for further research.


  • Man overboard
  • Object detection
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
  • Drone
  • Benchmark

Supported by NAUSICAA - “NAUtical Safety by means of Integrated Computer-Assistance Appliances 4.0”, a project funded by the Tuscany region (CUP D44E20003410009).

D. Cafarelli, L. Ciampi and L. Vadicamo—Co-first authors.

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  1. 1.

    Although in this work we exploited the whole dataset as a test benchmark, in [3] we provide training and test splits.

  2. 2.

    Pre-trained models are available, e.g., in the model zoo of MMDetection project [5].


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Cafarelli, D. et al. (2022). MOBDrone: A Drone Video Dataset for Man OverBoard Rescue. In: Sclaroff, S., Distante, C., Leo, M., Farinella, G.M., Tombari, F. (eds) Image Analysis and Processing – ICIAP 2022. ICIAP 2022. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 13232. Springer, Cham.

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