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Sensors 2013, 13(11), 14687-14713; doi:10.3390/s131114687
Article

On the Use of a Low-Cost Thermal Sensor to Improve Kinect People Detection in a Mobile Robot

1,* , 2
,
3
,
3
,
1
 and
2
1 Autonomous and Smart Systems Unit, IK4-TEKNIKER, Iaki Goenaga 5, Eibar, Spain 2 Department of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, UPV-EHU, Manuel Lardizabal 1, Donostia-San Sebastin, Spain 3 SIANI, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Juan de Quesada 30, Spain
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 September 2013 / Revised: 2 October 2013 / Accepted: 21 October 2013 / Published: 29 October 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
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Abstract

Detecting people is a key capability for robots that operate in populated environments. In this paper, we have adopted a hierarchical approach that combines classifiers created using supervised learning in order to identify whether a person is in the view-scope of the robot or not. Our approach makes use of vision, depth and thermal sensors mounted on top of a mobile platform. The set of sensors is set up combining the rich data source offered by a Kinect sensor, which provides vision and depth at low cost, and a thermopile array sensor. Experimental results carried out with a mobile platform in a manufacturing shop floor and in a science museum have shown that the false positive rate achieved using any single cue is drastically reduced. The performance of our algorithm improves other well-known approaches, such as C4 and histogram of oriented gradients (HOG).
Keywords: sensor fusion; people detection; computer vision; hierarchical classification; mobile robot/platform sensor fusion; people detection; computer vision; hierarchical classification; mobile robot/platform
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Susperregi, L.; Sierra, B.; Castrillón, M.; Lorenzo, J.; Martínez-Otzeta, J.M.; Lazkano, E. On the Use of a Low-Cost Thermal Sensor to Improve Kinect People Detection in a Mobile Robot. Sensors 2013, 13, 14687-14713.

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