AnTracks is an interactive computer vision software for detection and tracking of objects in videos. It is specifically designed to work with small and low-contrast objects.

AnTracks is mostly employed by animal researchers to quantitatively investigate animal behavior. Properties like local population densities, foraging trails, speed profiles, transition rates between regions of interest, or interaction dynamics between groups of individuals can be calculated and visualized. Other applications of AnTracks include quantitative cell culture analysis.


Some of the features of AnTracks include:

  • Fully visual user interface.
  • Detection of small and low-contrast objects in noisy environments.
  • Multiple detection and tracking algorithms, optimized for different scenarios (such as contrast-, color-, or motion-based).
  • Extensive preprocessing filters for noise removal, contrast enhancement, etc.
  • Analysis module for interactive trajectory analysis, particle interaction analysis, and computation of metrics such as speed, trajectory length, flux rates between areas, object size and shape distributions, etc.
  • Object learning interface for convenient parameter setup.
  • Removal of camera shake with adjustable subpixel accuracy.
  • Extensive visualization and video exporting options.
  • Convenient data export to xml or csv format for downstream analysis in programs like Matlab, R, Excel, etc.

Demo videos

Robust Tracking of Ants in a Lab Arena

This video shows a demonstration of fully automated robust tracking of 30 ants in a lab arena, in the presence of social interactions and brood items.

Tracking of Ants on the Soil

This video demonstrates the usage of AnTracks to detect ants on the soil. The ants are barely visible, so this is a rather challenging tracking application.


Main window for tracking parameter setup.

Trajectories in Data Analyzer module.

Density map in Data Analyzer module.

Social interactions between animals can be investigated using the AnTracks Data Analyzer module.

User List

Current and past users include:

  • Calysta Energy, Menlo Park
  • Deep Springs College
  • Iwate University, Japan
  • Laboratory of Behavioral Ecology and Evolution of Seoul National University, South Korea
  • Stanford University
  • Tel Aviv University, Israsel
  • University of Bristol, UK
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of California, San Diego
  • University of Cambridge, UK
  • University of Colorado, Boulder
  • University of Colorado, Denver
  • University of Georgia, Athens
  • University of Hyogo, Japan
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Mainz, Germany
  • University of Nebraska
  • University of New South Wales, Canberra
  • University of Nottingham, UK
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of St. Andrews, UK
  • University of Sydney, Australia
  • University of Texas, Austin
  • University of Tokyo, Japan

User Testimonials

Some quotes from our users:

  • "AnTracks works perfect."
  • "I am very impressed with what your system can do. I think it is brilliant."
  • "AnTracks is such a powerful tool."
  • "The program is working really well for me and is quite easy to use."
  • "I'm really impressed that AnTracks does so well given the poor video quality."
  • "The AnTracks data is so much better than what we used before."
  • "AnTracks is a gazillion times faster than [...] and blob finding in AnTracks is much better."
  • "I feel so lucky to be able to extract these trajectories from the video data; I cannot overstate how powerful this tool is for investigating many of my current research questions."
  • "This software is really great!!!"
  • "I've looked at the videos several times now and they are amazing! The ability of your algorithm to track those three ants in the middle, two of which are exchanging food and the third is grooming the second, clinches it for me."
  • "Things are very well explained, and I feel like I'm getting the hang of it. So far it's a lot of fun!"
  • "I've been continuing to analyze video data from [...], and AnTracks has been working incredibly well!"
  • "It looks like it is working really well. What a cool program!"
  • "I am really impressed how well the tracking went given the avoidable faults with the video, the brood and the close proximity of some of the ants."
  • "AnTracks is so cool! I really love the histogram and spectrum parts."
  • "I was hugely impressed by the tracking of the ants in one of the videos [...] sent you. Marvelous!"