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A template reconstruction scheme for moving object detection from a mobile robot

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Purpose ‐ Mobile robots become more and more important for many potential applications such as navigation and surveillance. The paper proposes an image processing scheme for moving object detection from a mobile robot with a single camera. It especially aims at intruder detection for the security robot on either smooth paved surfaces or uneven ground surfaces. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The core of the proposed scheme is the template matching with basis image reconstruction for the alignment between two consecutive images in the video sequence. The most representative template patches in one image are first automatically selected based on the gradient energies in the patches. The chosen templates then form a basis matrix, and the instances of the templates in the subsequent image are matched by evaluating their reconstruction error from the basis matrix. For the two well-aligned images, a simple and fast temporal difference can thus be applied to identify moving objects from the background. Findings ‐ The proposed template matching can tolerate in rotation (±10°) and (±10°) in scaling. By adding templates with larger rotational angles in the basis matrixes, the proposed method can be further extended for the match of images from severe camera vibrations. Experimental results of video sequences from a non-stationary camera have shown that the proposed scheme can reliably detect moving objects from the scenes with either minor or severe geometric transformation changes. The proposed scheme can achieve a fast processing rate of 32 frames per second for an image of size 160×120. Originality/value ‐ The basic approaches for moving object detection with a mobile robot are feature-point match and optical flow. They are relatively computational intensive and complicated to implement for real-time applications. The proposed template selection and template matching are very fast and easy to implement. Traditional template matching methods are based on sum of squared differences or normalized cross correlation. They are very sensitive to minor displacement between two images. The proposed new similarity measure is based on the reconstruction error from the test image and its reconstruction from the linear combination of the templates. It is thus robust under rotation and scale changes. It can be well suited for mobile robot surveillance.
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Keywords: Industrial robotics; Motors; Navigation; Pneumatics; Vision

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 11, 2013

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