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Proceedings Paper

Obstacles and foliage discrimination using lidar
Author(s): Daniel D. Morris
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Paper Abstract

A central challenge to autonomous off-road navigation is discriminating between obstacles that are safe to drive over and those that pose a hazard to navigation and so must be circumnavigated. Foliage, which can often be safely driven over, presents two important perception problems. First, foliage can appear as a large impenetrable obstacle, and so must be discriminated from other objects. Second, real obstacles are much harder to detect when adjacent to or occluded by foliage and many detection methods fail to detect them due to additional clutter and partial occlusions from foliage. This paper addresses both the discrimination of foliage, and the detection of obstacles in and near foliage using Lidar. Our approach uses neighboring pixels in a depth image to construct features at each pixel that provide local surface properites. A generative model for obstacles is used to accumulate probabilistic evidence for obstacles and foliage in the vicinity of a moving platform. Detection of obstacles is then based on evidence within overlapping cells of a map without the need to segment segment obstacles and foliage. High accuracy obstacle and foliage discrimination is obtained and compared with the use of a point scatter measure.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 May 2016
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 9837, Unmanned Systems Technology XVIII, 98370E (13 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2224545
Show Author Affiliations
Daniel D. Morris, Michigan State Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9837:
Unmanned Systems Technology XVIII
Robert E. Karlsen; Douglas W. Gage; Charles M. Shoemaker; Grant R. Gerhart, Editor(s)

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