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Fiducial markers are artificial landmarks added to a scene to facilitate locating point correspondences between images, or between images and a known model. Reliable fiducials solve the interest point detection and matching problems when adding markers is convenient. The proper design of fiducials and the associated computer vision algorithms to detect them can enable accurate pose detection for applications ranging from augmented reality, input devices for HCI, to robot navigation. Marker systems typically have two stages, hypothesis generation from unique image features and verification/identification. A set of criteria for high robustness and practical use are identified and then optimized to produce the ARTag fiducial marker system. An edge-based method robust to lighting and partial occlusion is used for the hypothesis stage, and a reliable digital coding system is used for the identification and verification stage. Using these design criteria large gains in performance are achieved by ARTag over conventional ad hoc designs.