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Moving obstacle detection from a navigating robot

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2 Author(s)
Nair, D. ; Nat. Instrum. Corp., Austin, TX, USA ; Aggarwal, J.K.

This paper presents a system that detects unexpected moving obstacles that appear in the path of a navigating robot, and estimates the relative motion of the object with respect to the robot. The system is designed for a robot navigating in a structured environment with a single wide-angle camera. The system uses polar mapping to simplify the segmentation of the moving object from the background. The polar mapping is performed with the focus of expansion as the center. A vision-based algorithm that uses the vanishing points of segments extracted from a scene in a few 3D orientations provides an accurate estimate of the robot orientation. In the transformed space qualitative estimate of moving obstacles is obtained by detecting the vertical motion of edges extracted in a few specified directions. Relative motion information about the obstacle is then obtained by computing the time to impact between the obstacles and robot from the radial component of the optical flow. The system was implemented and on an indoor mobile robot

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Robotics and Automation, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 3 )