Title: Hierarchical approach to fingerprint of places based real-time topological mapping for autonomous rovers

Authors: Prabhakar Mishra; J.K. Kishore; Harish S. Bharadwaj

Addresses: Centre for Intelligent Systems, Department of Telecommunication Engineering, PES Institute of Technology, Bangalore-560085, India ' Avionics Production Division, ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore, India ' Department of Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India

Abstract: Autonomous navigation in partially known or unknown environment requires the ability of in motion mapping and localisation. Exploratory rovers employ a hybrid mapping approach comprising of locally metric and globally topological maps to meet resource constraints imposed by the payload. In this paper, we discuss a hierarchical fingerprint of places based approach to generating topological maps using a single camera mounted on the rover. We propose a novel feature extraction process for generation of the finger prints in a monocular vision framework. Each place is characterised by a multi-level hierarchical fingerprint which provides better localisation and loop closure detection. We use a two-pronged strategy for evaluating the performance of this approach: firstly, using standard datasets provided by different universities and secondly, in-situ validation on our experimental rover in indoor and outdoor environments. The proposed algorithm is amenable to real-time implementation in resource constrained rover systems. The comparison of the proposed method with those in literature brings out the computational attractiveness for real-time implementation.

Keywords: autonomous rovers; computer vision; fingerprint of places; topological mapping; localisation; autonomous navigation; exploratory rovers; feature extraction.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCVR.2015.072191

International Journal of Computational Vision and Robotics, 2015 Vol.5 No.4, pp.385 - 406

Received: 14 Feb 2014
Accepted: 03 Oct 2014

Published online: 03 Oct 2015 *

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