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Title: Mobile robot navigation using a vision based approach
Author: Güzel, Mehmet Serdar
ISNI:       0000 0004 2737 6235
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2012
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This study addresses the issue of vision based mobile robot navigation in a partially cluttered indoor environment using a mapless navigation strategy. The work focuses on two key problems, namely vision based obstacle avoidance and vision based reactive navigation strategy. The estimation of optical flow plays a key role in vision based obstacle avoidance problems, however the current view is that this technique is too sensitive to noise and distortion under real conditions. Accordingly, practical applications in real time robotics remain scarce. This dissertation presents a novel methodology for vision based obstacle avoidance, using a hybrid architecture. This integrates an appearance-based obstacle detection method into an optical flow architecture based upon a behavioural control strategy that includes a new arbitration module. This enhances the overall performance of conventional optical flow based navigation systems, enabling a robot to successfully move around without experiencing collisions. Behaviour based approaches have become the dominant methodologies for designing control strategies for robot navigation. Two different behaviour based navigation architectures have been proposed for the second problem, using monocular vision as the primary sensor and equipped with a 2-D range finder. Both utilize an accelerated version of the Scale Invariant Feature Transform (SIFT) algorithm. The first architecture employs a qualitative-based control algorithm to steer the robot towards a goal whilst avoiding obstacles, whereas the second employs an intelligent control framework. This allows the components of soft computing to be integrated into the proposed SIFT-based navigation architecture, conserving the same set of behaviours and system structure of the previously defined architecture. The intelligent framework incorporates a novel distance estimation technique using the scale parameters obtained from the SIFT algorithm. The technique employs scale parameters and a corresponding zooming factor as inputs to train a neural network which results in the determination of physical distance. Furthermore a fuzzy controller is designed and integrated into this framework so as to estimate linear velocity, and a neural network based solution is adopted to estimate the steering direction of the robot. As a result, this intelligent iv approach allows the robot to successfully complete its task in a smooth and robust manner without experiencing collision. MS Robotics Studio software was used to simulate the systems, and a modified Pioneer 3-DX mobile robot was used for real-time implementation. Several realistic scenarios were developed and comprehensive experiments conducted to evaluate the performance of the proposed navigation systems. KEY WORDS: Mobile robot navigation using vision, Mapless navigation, Mobile robot architecture, Distance estimation, Vision for obstacle avoidance, Scale Invariant Feature Transforms, Intelligent framework.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available