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Open AccessArticle

Floor Covering and Surface Identification for Assistive Mobile Robotic Real-Time Room Localization Application

Engineering and Digital Arts, University of Kent, Canterbury CT2 7NT, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2013, 13(12), 17501-17515;
Received: 1 November 2013 / Revised: 9 December 2013 / Accepted: 9 December 2013 / Published: 17 December 2013
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
PDF [421 KB, uploaded 21 June 2014]


Assistive robotic applications require systems capable of interaction in the human world, a workspace which is highly dynamic and not always predictable. Mobile assistive devices face the additional and complex problem of when and if intervention should occur; therefore before any trajectory assistance is given, the robotic device must know where it is in real-time, without unnecessary disruption or delay to the user requirements. In this paper, we demonstrate a novel robust method for determining room identification from floor features in a real-time computational frame for autonomous and assistive robotics in the human environment. We utilize two inexpensive sensors: an optical mouse sensor for straightforward and rapid, texture or pattern sampling, and a four color photodiode light sensor for fast color determination. We show how data relating floor texture and color obtained from typical dynamic human environments, using these two sensors, compares favorably with data obtained from a standard webcam. We show that suitable data can be extracted from these two sensors at a rate 16 times faster than a standard webcam, and that these data are in a form which can be rapidly processed using readily available classification techniques, suitable for real-time system application. We achieved a 95% correct classification accuracy identifying 133 rooms’ flooring from 35 classes, suitable for fast coarse global room localization application, boundary crossing detection, and additionally some degree of surface type identification. View Full-Text
Keywords: mobile robotics; floor features; optical mouse; room localization mobile robotics; floor features; optical mouse; room localization
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Gillham, M.; Howells, G.; Spurgeon, S.; McElroy, B. Floor Covering and Surface Identification for Assistive Mobile Robotic Real-Time Room Localization Application. Sensors 2013, 13, 17501-17515.

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