Dodo’s object detection package

This is a package that implements two types of object detection algorithms and provides them as Python classes, ready to be instantiated and used. The first algorithm uses a pipeline which consists of OpenCV keypoint detection and description algorithms, followed by feature matching and positioning using homography. Basically, this tutorial.

The second one uses any pre-trained convolutional network from the TensorFlow Object Detection API. Basically, this tutorial.

I’ve made an effort to keep the package compatible with both Python 2.7 and Python 3 (for ROS users) and, consequently, with TensorFlow 1 and 2, and the TensorFlow Object Detection APIs v1 and v2.


After having to follow the same computer vision tutorials to implement object detection every time I needed it for a project, I decided I had enough and created this Python package with detection methods I often use, ready to be used out of the box. I hope this makes things easier not only for me, but for others.


For the keypoint-based object detector:

For the TensorFlow-based object detectors:

Follow their respective documentation pages to install them.


There is an opencv-contrib package available on PyPI, but I have never tried installing it instead of doing the aforementioned process.


Since this package is not on PyPI, you can install it via pip like this:

pip install git+

OpenCV is a hard dependency and is installed via the PyPI opencv-python package. If you already have OpenCV installed (e.g. from source), edit and remove the hard dependency before installing.

As for TensorFlow, either install the specific TensorFlow version that is going to be used, or create a virtualenv to run this package along with your TensorFlow version of choice. Make sure to also have the Object Detection API installed. Only the API compatible with your TensorFlow and Python versions should be on your PYTHONPATH.


The package has two types of detector, a keypoint-based detector and a detector that uses convolutional neural networks from the TensorFlow object detection API.

All detectors have a common interface, with three methods:

  • from_camera takes a camera ID and uses OpenCV to read a frame stream, which is displayed on a separate window;

  • from_video receives a video file and also displays the detection results on a window;

  • from_image receives a single RGB image as a numpy array and returns a tuple containing an image with all the detected objects marked in it, and a dictionary containing object classes as keys and their detection information in tuples. Some classifiers return only bounding boxes, others return an additional confidence level. An example with one apple and two oranges detected in an image:

    {'person': [
        {'box': (204, 456, 377, 534), 'confidence': 0.9989906},
        {'box': (182, 283, 370, 383), 'confidence': 0.99848276},
        {'box': (181, 222, 368, 282), 'confidence': 0.9979938},
        {'box': (184, 37, 379, 109), 'confidence': 0.9938652},
        {'box': (169, 0, 371, 66), 'confidence': 0.98873794},
        {'box': (199, 397, 371, 440), 'confidence': 0.96926546},
        {'box': (197, 108, 365, 191), 'confidence': 0.96739936},
        {'box': (184, 363, 377, 414), 'confidence': 0.945458},
        {'box': (195, 144, 363, 195), 'confidence': 0.92953676}

Keypoint-based detector

The keypoint-based object detector uses OpenCV 3 keypoint detection and description algorithms (namely, SURF 1, SIFT 2 and RootSIFT 3) to extract features from a database of images provided by the user. These features are then compared to features extracted from a target image, using feature matching algorithms also provided by OpenCV, to find the desired objects from the database in the target image.

Since OpenCV has no implementation of RootSIFT, I stole this one.

Example on running a keypoint-based detector:

from dodo_detector.detection import KeypointObjectDetector
detector = KeypointObjectDetector('/path/to/my/database_dir')
marked_image, obj_dict = detector.from_image(im)

The database directory must have the following structure:


Basically, the top-level directory will contain subdirectories. The name of each subdirectory is the class name the program will return during detection. Inside each subdirectory is a collection of image files, whose keypoints will be extracted by the KeypointObjectDetector during the object construction. The keypoints will then be kept in-memory while the object exists.

You can then use the methods provided by the detector to detect objects in your images, videos or camera feed.

Convolutional neural network detectors

These detectors use the TensorFlow Object Detection API. In order to use them, you must either train your own neural network using their API, or provide a trained network. I have a concise tutorial on how to train a neural network for TensorFlow 2, with other useful links.

Python 2.7 or TensorFlow 1

The training procedure will give you the frozen inference graph, which is a .pb file; and a label map, which is a text file with extension .pbtxt containing the names of your object classes.

This type of detector must be pointed towards the paths for the frozen inference graph and label map. The number of classes is inferred from the contents of the label map.

Example on running the detector:

from dodo_detector.detection import TFObjectDetectorV1
detector = TFObjectDetectorV1('path/to/frozen/graph.pb', 'path/to/labels.pbtxt')
marked_image, obj_dict = detector.from_image(im)

TensorFlow 2

After training and exporting a model, a directory called saved_model will be created, whose contents are used by dodo_detector to load the model into memory. Another file that is needed is the label map, which is a text file with extension .pbtxt containing the names of your object classes.

This type of detector must be pointed towards the paths of the saved_model directory and label map. The number of classes is inferred from the contents of the label map.

Example on running the detector:

from dodo_detector.detection import TFObjectDetectorV2
detector = TFObjectDetectorV2('path/to/frozen/saved_model', 'path/to/labels.pbtxt')
marked_image, obj_dict = detector.from_image(im)

Have fun!


  1. Bay, A. Ess, T. Tuytelaars, and L. Van Gool, “Speeded-up robust features (SURF),” Computer vision and image understanding, vol. 110, no. 3, pp. 346–359, 2008.

    1. Lowe, “Object recognition from local scale-invariant features,” in Proceedings of the Seventh IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision, 1999, vol. 2, pp. 1150–1157.

  1. Arandjelović and A. Zisserman, “Three things everyone should know to improve object retrieval,” in 2012 IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, 2012, pp. 2911–2918.