Summary: Reactive Robot Navigation: A Purposive Approach
Antonis A. Argyros
The term navigation refers to the capability of a system to move autonomously in its environment, by using
its own sensors. The more specific term visual navigation is used for the process of motion control based on
the analysis of data gathered by visual sensors. The field of visual navigation is of particular importance
mainly because of the rich perceptual input provided by vision.
The problem of visual navigation has been traditionally treated without taking very much into
account the environment of the robot, its body and the characteristics of the behavior that the robot is about
to exhibit. Typically, monocular or stereoscopic visual systems are assumed and the effort is then focused in
constructing a general representation of the environment that may thereafter serve the solution of any vision-
related problem. During the last decade, a new vision paradigm has attracted the interest of the
computational vision research community. In this paradigm, called active and purposive vision , vision is
more readily understood in the context of the visual behaviors in which the system is engaged.
Consequently, vision tries to explore those aspects of the world that are important to the system at a given
point in time, instead of aiming at a general representation of the environment which, besides being
extremely difficult to extract, it is probably also not needed.
In this paper, we describe a new method for visual robot navigation based on the principles of
purposive vision. Thus, the aim of this research is not what vision can offer towards building a general-
purpose world representation, but how the visual system of a robot can be designed in order to assist the