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With all the textual indications, messages and signs we find in urban settings to provide us with all types of information, it is only natural that we try to give to robots reading capabilities of interpreting such information. Equipped with optical character recognition algorithms, a mobile robot has to face the challenge of controlling its position in the world and its pan-tilt-zoom camera to find the textual message to capture, try to compensate for its viewpoint of the message, and use limited processing capabilities to decode the message. The robot also has to deal with non-uniform illumination and changing conditions in the world. In this work, we address the different aspects of the character recognition process to be incorporated into the higher level intelligence modules of a mobile robotic platform.