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

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W56HZV-13-C-0008
Agency Tracking Number: A12A-030-0402
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: A12a-T030
Solicitation Number: 2012.A
Solicitation Year: 2012
Award Year: 2013
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2013-01-04
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2013-07-03
Small Business Information
15400 Calhoun Drive Suite 400
Rockville, MD -
United States
DUNS: 161911532
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 David Handelman
 Principal Scientist
 (301) 294-4490
Business Contact
 Mark James
Title: Director, Contracts and Proposals
Phone: (301) 294-5221
Research Institution
 University of Pennsylvania
 Kostas Daniilidis
3330 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-
United States

 (215) 898-8549
 Nonprofit College or University

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.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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