Thursday, August 25, 2011

What every recreational roboticist should know about computer vision

As I wrote before, I intend to apply some computer vision (CV) algorithms to make SHORT-E more aware of its surroundings. I guess that CV is still not routinely used by recreational roboticists. Hobbyists tend to use simpler sensory information such as that obtained from ultrasonic rangefinders or infrared proximity sensors to make their robots able to navigate in their operation environment.

This is understandable, as computer vision is quite a complicated discipline, the programming tools are not easy to use (or even compile in some cases), and most hobbyists' robots' computational hardware is just not up to the task of executing processor and memory intensive algorithms. However, while I'm not experienced in CV, I happen to have a PhD in computer science and will use Chumby One as my robot's brain, so I'd be a wussy if I didn't at least try to do some rudimentary CV.

For my fellow recreational roboticists that have not yet decided to take the leap: I recommend starting with this nice and popularized introduction to computer vision. If you're impatient, you can safely skip the first part about vision in biology and dive straight into chapters 2...4.

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