Integration of an image hardware/software system into an autonomous robot
Kisor, John Carl.
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The major problem addressed by this research is how to integrate an image understanding subsystem into an autonomous mobile robot so that the robot will be self-contained and independent of any Unix workstation for extracting image information. The resulting image understanding subsystem should be a part of the total intelligent autonomous robot and should provide functionality that will allow the robot to determine its position and that of obstacles in a partially known environment. The image understanding subsystem should be fully integrated with existing motion control and sonar software. The approach taken was to develop software to capture images that uses a VME bus to interface with a standard image manager. The software was written to provide a clean interface between the image grabber hardware and the robots existing Model-based Mobile Robot Language. By maintaining functionality similar to that provided in previous image understanding software, the changes needed to incorporate previous research software is kept to a minimum. The result is a autonomous robot that can capture images using a standard image manager, display those images and then convert them to a format needed by existing image understanding software to extract information for position determination or avoid obstacles. The image understanding software uses only the computing power it has available on-board the robot. This gives the robot the capability to extract image information about its environment and remain autonomous and self- contained.
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