Visual Navigation for Mobile Robots: a Survey

Authors Francisco Bonin-Font | Alberto Ortiz Rodriguez | Gabriel Oliver Codina
In Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems, vol. 53, no. 3, pp. 263--296, 2008.

Mobile robot vision-based navigation has been the source of countless research contributions, from the domains of both vision and control. Vision is becoming more and more common in applications such as localization, automatic map construction, autonomous navigation, path following, inspection, monitoring or risky situation detection. This survey presents those pieces of work, from the nineties until nowadays, which constitute a wide progress in visual navigation techniques for land, aerial and autonomous underwater vehicles. The paper deals with two major approaches: map-based navigation and mapless navigation. Map-based navigation has been in turn subdivided in metric map-based navigation and topological map-based navigation. Our outline to mapless navigation includes reactive techniques based on qualitative characteristics extraction, appearance-based localization, optical flow, features tracking, plane ground detection/tracking, etc… The recent concept of visual sonar has also been revised.

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