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I came across this video today of a iRobot create robot autonomously navigating a hallway using a standard laptop webcam. The guidance software centers the robot on the perceived vanishing point, which can be picked up from visual cues like wall and floor lines, allowing the robot to cruise in a direct path down the center of the hall.

For implementing higher level network task of maintaining connectivity in the deployed sensor network, the mobile node (iRobot Create) must navigate through the indoor environment. Using only the laptop camera as a sensor we implemented the navigation and localization system.

Navigation uses vanishing point extracted from the corridor walls and edges. Robust Navigation is credit due to Pratap Tokekar. I worked on localization with fiducial (cones) and helped the robot estimate its position by measuring range from the cone-landmarks.

More from Pratap’s blog:

I was responsible for vision-based navigation of the robot within the hallways. I used the vanishing points from the parallel lines present indoors to compute the robot heading. This was then fed into a controller to control the direction of the robot for navigation. The computation was made robust to change in light conditions, false detections, occlusions by a layered filtering approach that included RANSAC and least squares filtering among others.

I’m impressed with how well this works, and it seems like it wouldn’t be too painful to implement for a special-case hallway rover like this. Pratap’s project report has a lot of details about how the vanishing point detection system works. Check it out if you’d like to implement something like this yourself.

If anyone has other examples of vanishing point guidance, please leave a comment.

Vanishing Points Based Navigation – Project Report Details (PDF)
Pratap Tokekar: Vision Based Navigation
Video: Vision based Navigation and Localization


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Comments

  1. Capt Bring down says:

    What is with people who claim they invented stuff they saw at competitions. This guy did not invent this method of vision based guidance.

    Credibility as a scientist aside, there was a guy who did this last year.

  2. Anonymous says:

    No claims about this being “invented” here. In fact, the report starts with this -

    “Using the vanishing point is one of the most widely used technique for indoor vision-based navigation.”

    There are loads of other guys who have done this, besides THE one who did it last year. The difference is the implementation.

  3. Anonymous says:

    No claims about this being “invented” here. In fact, the report starts with this -

    “Using the vanishing point is one of the most widely used technique for indoor vision-based navigation.”

    There are loads of other guys who have done this, besides THE one who did it last year. The difference is the implementation.

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