Proceedings PaperActive place recognition using image signatures
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For reliable navigation, a mobile robot needs to be able to recognize where it is in the world. We previously described an efficient and effective image-based representation of perceptual information for place recognition. Each place is associated with a set of stored image signatures, each a matrix of numbers derived by evaluating some measurement functions over large blocks of pixels. One difficulty, though, is the large number of inherently ambiguous signatures which bloats the database and makes recognition more difficult. Furthermore, since small differences in orientation can produce very different images, reliable recognition requires many images. These problems can be ameliorated by using active methods to select the best signatures to use for the recognition. Two criteria for good images are distinctiveness (is the scene distinguishable from others?) and stability (how much do small viewpoint motions change image recognizability?). We formulate several heuristic distinctiveness metrics which are good predictors of real image distinctiveness. These functions are then used to direct the motion of the camera to find locally distinctive views for use in recognition. This method also produces some modicum of stability, since it uses a form of local optimization. We present the results of applying this method with a camera mounted on a pan-tilt platform.