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Active/Dynamic Stereo Vision
November 1995 (vol. 17 no. 11)
pp. 1117-1128

Abstract—Visual navigation is a challenging issue in automated robot control. In many robot applications, like object manipulation in hazardous environments or autonomous locomotion, it is necessary to automatically detect and avoid obstacles while planning a safe trajectory. In this context the detection of corridors of free space along the robot trajectory is a very important capability which requires nontrivial visual processing. In most cases it is possible to take advantage of the active control of the cameras.

In this paper we propose a cooperative schema in which motion and stereo vision are used to infer scene structure and determine free space areas. Binocular disparity, computed on several stereo images over time, is combined with optical flow from the same sequence to obtain a relative-depth map of the scene. Both the time-to-impact and depth scaled by the distance of the camera from the fixation point in space are considered as good, relative measurements which are based on the viewer, but centered on the environment.

The need for calibrated parameters is considerably reduced by using an active control strategy. The cameras track a point in space independently of the robot motion and the full rotation of the head, which includes the unknown robot motion, is derived from binocular image data.

The feasibility of the approach in real robotic applications is demonstrated by several experiments performed on real image data acquired from an autonomous vehicle and a prototype camera head.

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Index Terms:
Active vision, dynamic vision, time-to-impact, stereo vision, motion analysis, navigation.
Enrico Grosso, Massimo Tistarelli, "Active/Dynamic Stereo Vision," IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, vol. 17, no. 11, pp. 1117-1128, Nov. 1995, doi:10.1109/TPAMI.1995.10005
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