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  1. This report summarizes the analytical and experimental efforts for the Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project entitled ''Advancements in Sensing and Perception using Structured Lighting Techniques''. There is an ever-increasing need for robust, autonomous ground vehicles for counterterrorism and defense missions. Although there has been nearly 30 years of government-sponsored research, it is undisputed that significant advancements in sensing and perception are necessary. We developed an innovative, advanced sensing technology for national security missions serving the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, and other government agencies. The principal goal of this project was to develop an eye-safe, robust,more » low-cost, lightweight, 3D structured lighting sensor for use in broad daylight outdoor applications. The market for this technology is wide open due to the unavailability of such a sensor. Currently available laser scanners are slow, bulky and heavy, expensive, fragile, short-range, sensitive to vibration (highly problematic for moving platforms), and unreliable for outdoor use in bright sunlight conditions. Eye-safety issues are a primary concern for currently available laser-based sensors. Passive, stereo-imaging sensors are available for 3D sensing but suffer from several limitations : computationally intensive, require a lighted environment (natural or man-made light source), and don't work for many scenes or regions lacking texture or with ambiguous texture. Our approach leveraged from the advanced capabilities of modern CCD camera technology and Center 6600's expertise in 3D world modeling, mapping, and analysis, using structured lighting. We have a diverse customer base for indoor mapping applications and this research extends our current technology's lifecycle and opens a new market base for outdoor 3D mapping. Applications include precision mapping, autonomous navigation, dexterous manipulation, surveillance and reconnaissance, part inspection, geometric modeling, laser-based 3D volumetric imaging, simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), aiding first responders, and supporting soldiers with helmet-mounted LADAR for 3D mapping in urban-environment scenarios. The technology developed in this LDRD overcomes the limitations of current laser-based 3D sensors and contributes to the realization of intelligent machine systems reducing manpower need.« less
  2. The computer vision field has undergone a revolution of sorts in the past five years. Moore's law has driven real-time image processing from the domain of dedicated, expensive hardware, to the domain of commercial off-the-shelf computers. This thesis describes their work on the design, analysis and implementation of a Real-Time Shape from Silhouette Sensor (RT S{sup 3}). The system produces time-varying volumetric data at real-time rates (10-30Hz). The data is in the form of binary volumetric images. Until recently, using this technique in a real-time system was impractical due to the computational burden. In this thesis they review the previousmore » work in the field, and derive the mathematics behind volumetric calibration, silhouette extraction, and shape-from-silhouette. For the sensor implementation, they use four color camera/framegrabber pairs and a single high-end Pentium III computer. The color cameras were configured to observe a common volume. This hardware uses the RT S{sup 3} software to track volumetric motion. Two types of shape-from-silhouette algorithms were implemented and their relative performance was compared. They have also explored an application of this sensor to markerless motion tracking. In his recent review of work done in motion tracking Gavrila states that results of markerless vision based 3D tracking are still limited. The method proposed in this paper not only expands upon the previous work but will also attempt to overcome these limitations.« less

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"Carlson, Jeffrey J."

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