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Proceedings Paper

Stereo and photometric image sequence interpretation for detecting negative obstacles using active gaze control and performing an autonomous jink
Author(s): Ulrich Hofmann; Karl-Heinz Siedersberger
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Paper Abstract

Driving cross-country, the detection and state estimation relative to negative obstacles like ditches and creeks is mandatory for safe operation. Very often, ditches can be detected both by different photometric properties (soil vs. vegetation) and by range (disparity) discontinuities. Therefore, algorithms should make use of both the photometric and geometric properties to reliably detect obstacles. This has been achieved in UBM's EMS-Vision System (Expectation-based, Multifocal, Saccadic) for autonomous vehicles. The perception system uses Sarnoff's image processing hardware for real-time stereo vision. This sensor provides both gray value and disparity information for each pixel at high resolution and framerates. In order to perform an autonomous jink, the boundaries of an obstacle have to be measured accurately for calculating a safe driving trajectory. Especially, ditches are often very extended, so due to the restricted field of vision of the cameras, active gaze control is necessary to explore the boundaries of an obstacle. For successful measurements of image features the system has to satisfy conditions defined by the perception expert. It has to deal with the time constraints of the active camera platform while performing saccades and to keep the geometric conditions defined by the locomotion expert for performing a jink. Therefore, the experts have to cooperate. This cooperation is controlled by a central decision unit (CD), which has knowledge about the mission and the capabilities available in the system and of their limitations. The central decision unit reacts dependent on the result of situation assessment by starting, parameterizing or stopping actions (instances of capabilities). The approach has been tested with the 5-ton van VaMoRs. Experimental results will be shown for driving in a typical off-road scenario.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 September 2003
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5083, Unmanned Ground Vehicle Technology V, (30 September 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.488666
Show Author Affiliations
Ulrich Hofmann, Univ. der Bundeswehr Munchen (Germany)
Karl-Heinz Siedersberger, Audi AG (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5083:
Unmanned Ground Vehicle Technology V
Grant R. Gerhart; Charles M. Shoemaker; Douglas W. Gage, Editor(s)

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