Visual Obstacle Avoidance for Autonomous Watercraft using Smartphones

Tarek El-Gaaly, Christopher Tomaszewski, Abhinav Valada, Prasanna Velagapudi, Balajee Kannan, and Paul Scerri
Proceedings of the Autonomous Robots and Multirobot Systems workshop (ARMS 2013, at AAMAS 2013), May, 2013.


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Abstract
This paper presents a visual obstacle avoidance system for low-cost autonomous watercraft in riverine environments, such as lakes and rivers. Each watercraft is equipped with a smartphone which offers a single source of perceptual sensing, via a monocular camera. To achieve autonomous navigation in riverine environments, watercraft must overcome the challenges of limited sensing, low computational resources and visually noisy dynamic environments. We present an optical-flow based system that is robust to visual noise, predominantly in the form of water reflections, and provides local reactive visual obstacle avoidance. Through extensive eld testing, we show that this system achieves high performance visual obstacle avoidance.

Keywords
Obstacle avoidance, Computer vision, Image processing, Reflection detection

Notes
Associated Project(s): Cooperative Robotic Watercraft

Text Reference
Tarek El-Gaaly, Christopher Tomaszewski, Abhinav Valada, Prasanna Velagapudi, Balajee Kannan, and Paul Scerri, "Visual Obstacle Avoidance for Autonomous Watercraft using Smartphones," Proceedings of the Autonomous Robots and Multirobot Systems workshop (ARMS 2013, at AAMAS 2013), May, 2013.

BibTeX Reference
@inproceedings{Tomaszewski_2013_7411,
   author = "Tarek El-Gaaly and Christopher Tomaszewski and Abhinav Valada and Prasanna Velagapudi and Balajee Kannan and Paul Scerri",
   title = "Visual Obstacle Avoidance for Autonomous Watercraft using Smartphones",
   booktitle = "Proceedings of the Autonomous Robots and Multirobot Systems workshop (ARMS 2013, at AAMAS 2013)",
   month = "May",
   year = "2013",
}