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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Visual object recognition for mobile platforms Meger, David Paul


A robot must recognize objects in its environment in order to complete numerous tasks. Significant progress has been made in modeling visual appearance for image recognition, but the performance of current state-of-the-art approaches still falls short of that required by applications. This thesis describes visual recognition methods that leverage the spatial information sources available on-board mobile robots, such as the position of the platform in the world and the range data from its sensors, in order to significantly improve performance. Our research includes: a physical robotic platform that is capable of state-of-the-art recognition performance; a re-usable data set that facilitates study of the robotic recognition problem by the scientific community; and a three dimensional object model that demonstrates improved robustness to clutter. Based on our 3D model, we describe algorithms that integrate information across viewpoints, relate objects to auxiliary 3D sensor information, plan paths to next-best-views, explicitly model object occlusions and reason about the sub-parts of objects in 3D. Our approaches have been proven experimentally on-board the Curious George robot platform, which placed first in an international object recognition challenge for mobile robots for several years. We have also collected a large set of visual experiences from a robot, annotated the true objects in this data and made it public to the research community for use in performance evaluation. A path planning system derived from our model has been shown to hasten confident recognition by allowing informative viewpoints to be observed quickly. In each case studied, our system demonstrates significant improvements in recognition rate, in particular on realistic cluttered scenes, which promises more successful task execution for robotic platforms in the future.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International