Monocular Visual Navigation of an Autonomous Vehicle in Natural Scene Corridor-like Environments

Ji Zhang, George A. Kantor, Marcel Bergerman, and Sanjiv Singh
2012 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, October, 2012.


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Abstract
We present a monocular visual navigation methodology for autonomous orchard vehicles. Modern orchards are usually planted with straight and parallel tree rows that form a corridor-like environment. Our task consists of driving a vehicle autonomously along the tree rows. The original contributions of this paper are: 1) a method to recover vehicle rotation independently of translation by modeling the vehicle as a car-like robot driving on a 3D ground surface–the rotation is estimated from monocular images while the translation is measured by a wheel encoder; and 2) a method to fit the 3D points corresponding to the trees into straight lines via an optimization algorithm that minimizes the error variance on the robot lookahead point. Additionally, we use a simple vanishing point detection approach to find the ends of the tree rows. The vanishing point detection is integrated into the system via an extended Kalman filter. The methodology’s robustness to environmental changes is validated in more than fifty experiments in research and commercial orchards, six of which are presented and discussed in detail.

Notes
Associated Center(s) / Consortia: Field Robotics Center
Associated Project(s): Comprehensive Automation for Specialty Crops
Number of pages: 8

Text Reference
Ji Zhang, George A. Kantor, Marcel Bergerman, and Sanjiv Singh, "Monocular Visual Navigation of an Autonomous Vehicle in Natural Scene Corridor-like Environments ," 2012 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, October, 2012.

BibTeX Reference
@inproceedings{Zhang_2012_7312,
   author = "Ji Zhang and George A Kantor and Marcel Bergerman and Sanjiv Singh",
   title = "Monocular Visual Navigation of an Autonomous Vehicle in Natural Scene Corridor-like Environments ",
   booktitle = "2012 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems",
   month = "October",
   year = "2012",
}