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Proceedings Paper

Visual Guidance Of A Mobile Robot Equipped With A Network Of Self-Motion Sensors
Author(s): Jean-Marc Pichon; Christian Blanes; Nicolas Franceschini
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Paper Abstract

This paper reports on the principles of an on-board electro-optical system for the guidance of an autonomous mobile robot. Some of the signal processing adopted here was directly inspired by natural visual systems, in particular by the compound eye of the fly. The visual system has compound optics with a panoramic field but relatively low spatial resolution. It makes use of elementary motion detectors (E.M.D's) to estimate the distance to objects from the optic flow. Each E.M.D. constitutes one mesh of an analog network. It measures the relative angular velocity of any contrast point that passes across its receptive field as a result of the robot's own motion and evaluates the radial distance to this contrast point from the motion parallax. For this purpose, the mobile makes translation steps at constant speed during each visual acquisition. An obstacle avoidance algorithm is implemented on a parallel, analog network. This network integrates the numerous data provided by the E.M.D's and controls the drive motor and steering motor of the robot platform in real time. Other navigation modules may be added without altering the basic hardware architecture of the system. For example, a target detector has been associated with the system. No stringent hypothesis needs to be made as to the shape of objects in the environment. Both the visual processing principles and the obstacle avoidance strategy are described.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 March 1990
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 1195, Mobile Robots IV, (1 March 1990); doi: 10.1117/12.969868
Show Author Affiliations
Jean-Marc Pichon, C.N.R.S. / L.N.B.3 Neurocybernetics study group (France)
Christian Blanes, C.N.R.S. / L.N.B.3 Neurocybernetics study group (France)
Nicolas Franceschini, C.N.R.S. / L.N.B.3 Neurocybernetics study group (France)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1195:
Mobile Robots IV
Wendell H. Chun; William J. Wolfe, Editor(s)

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