Towards Vision Based Navigation in Large Indoor Environments

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Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the 2006 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2006), 2006, pp. 2096 - 2102
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The main contribution of this paper is a novel stereo-based algorithm which serves as a tool to examine the viability of stereo vision solutions to the simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM) for large indoor environments. Using features extracted from the scale invariant feature transform (SIFT) and depth maps from a small vision system (SVS) stereo head, an extended Kalman filter (EKF) based SLAM algorithm, that allows the independent use of information relating to depth and bearing, is developed. By means of a map pruning strategy for managing the computational cost, it is demonstrated that statistically consistent location estimates can be generated for a small (6 m times 6 m) structured office environment, and in a robotics search and rescue arena of similar size. It is shown that in a larger office environment, the proposed algorithm generates location estimates which are topologically correct, but statistically inconsistent. A discussion on the possible reasons for the inconsistency is presented. The paper highlights that, despite recent advances, building accurate geometric maps of large environments with vision only sensing is still a challenging task
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