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Journal of Information Science and Engineering, Vol. 21 No. 2, pp. 379-413 (March 2005)

Landmark-Oriented Visual Navigation of an Unmanned
Vehicle along Corridors

Chin-Shyurng Fahn and Rwei-Liang Chen*
Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering
*Department of Electrical Engineering
National Taiwan University of Science and Technology
Taipei, 106 Taiwan
E-mail: csfahn@mail.csie.ntust.edu.tw

This paper presents a landmark-oriented visual navigation system for unmanned vehicles (UMVs). An extensible knowledge-based parser is implemented through a syntactic approach for the recognition of T-junctions and crossroads of corridors. In addition, both geometrical perspective and flat-earth models are adopted to estimate the distances from objects to the front of a UMV. With our steering control method, the initial position and orientation of the UMV need not be known exactly. Such a method incorporates human-like driving skills together with feature line information. A turning process is also developed through the use of the geometric relationship between a reference baseline and the orientation of the UMV. Many successful experiments were conducted on a concrete UMV to verify the effectiveness of the proposed methods. So far, this UMV can detect the locations of T-junctions and crossroads precisely, and can move forward and make smooth turns in corridors.

Keywords: visual navigation, unmanned vehicle, corridor recognition, position recovery, steering control

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Received October 14, 2002; revised May 20, 2003; accepted April 16, 2004.
Communicated by H. Y. Mark Liao.