Image-based Automatic Dial Meter Reading in Unconstrained Scenarios

Gabriel Salomon, Rayson Laroca, David Menotti

The replacement of analog meters with smart meters is costly, laborious, and far from complete in developing countries. The Energy Company of Parana (Copel) (Brazil) performs more than 4 million meter readings (almost entirely of non-smart devices) per month, and we estimate that 850 thousand of them are from dial meters. Therefore, an image-based automatic reading system can reduce human errors, create a proof of reading, and enable the customers to perform the reading themselves through a mobile application. We propose novel approaches for Automatic Dial Meter Reading (ADMR) and introduce a new dataset for ADMR in unconstrained scenarios, called UFPR-ADMR-v2. Our best-performing method combines YOLOv4 with a novel regression approach (AngReg), and explores several postprocessing techniques. Compared to previous works, it decreased the Mean Absolute Error (MAE) from 1,343 to 129 and achieved a meter recognition rate (MRR) of 98.90% -- with an error tolerance of 1 Kilowatt-hour (kWh).

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