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Visual Tracking

A third area of current research for the Computer Vision team is visual tracking for robots. The team is currently working on a system that can be used for automatically locating parts and tracking seams to be welded. Using a CAD model to 'show' the robot what a given part looks like, the robot is then able to automatically find the part from the image presented by a video camera without any special placement of the part, and in an uncalibrated environment. Click on the photographs to see the robot in action.

Real-time tracking system Robot operating under visual guidance
Click on the images to open MPEG movies.
The left hand movie shows a demonstration of a real-time tracking system for a complex 3-dimensional structure. The right hand movie shows a robot operating under visual guidance (visual servoing) from this tracking system.

Similarly, the user 'teaches' the robot where the welds are to be made and then the vision system is used to make the process fully automatic. The joints to be welded are located automatically in real time, taking account of any movement that might occur during placement or welding. This system will be used in trials at a shipyard in the summer of 2000.

For more information, visit the Computer Vision and Robotics research group home page.