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Bio-Inspired Visual Navigation: From Landmarks via Bearing to Controls

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2013 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Intelligent Automation, Inc.
15400 Calhoun Drive suite 400 Rockville, MD 20855-
View profile »
Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2013
Title: Bio-Inspired Visual Navigation: From Landmarks via Bearing to Controls
Agency / Branch: DOD / ARMY
Contract: W56HZV-13-C-0008
Award Amount: $100,000.00


In a low-texture indoor environment, landmark-based navigation is difficult due to lack of distinctive micro-features such as SIFT and SURF. Intelligent Automation, Inc. (IAI) and GRASP Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania propose a Bio-Inspired Visual Navigation System with the following three innovations: First, we propose a segmentation-based method to extract landmarks as closed contours in the image which are globally salient and can be detected even in the low-texture environment. We then extract view-invariant shape and topological features that can be used to recognize these landmarks from different viewpoints. Second, we transform the locations of these landmarks into visual guides for bearing-only navigation. Third, we propose an intuitive OCU user interface for the operator to specify the waypoints and destination for the UGV. Using this new type of landmarks, UGVs will be able to navigate its surrounding to the required destination with minimal inputs from the operator. The proposed solution can be integrated into Armyfs existing UGVs and would allow the UGVs to operate in non-line-of-sight teleoperation with degraded communications.

Principal Investigator:

David Handelman
Principal Scientist
(301) 294-4490

Business Contact:

Mark James
Director, Contracts and Proposals
(301) 294-5221
Small Business Information at Submission:

Intelligent Automation, Inc.
15400 Calhoun Drive Suite 400 Rockville, MD -

EIN/Tax ID: 521497192
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
University of Pennsylvania
3330 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-
Contact: Kostas Daniilidis
Contact Phone: (215) 898-8549