A Single Camera Terrain Slope Estimation Technique for Natural Arctic Environments
Smith, Brian Stephen
Howard, Ayanna M.
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Arctic regions present one of the harshest environments on earth for people or mobile robots, yet many important scientific studies, particularly those involving climate change, require measurements from these areas. For the successful deployment of mobile sensors in the arctic, a reliable, fault tolerant, low-cost method of navigating must be developed. One aspect of an autonomous navigation system must be an assessment of the local terrain, including the slope of nearby regions. Presented here is a method of estimating the slope of the terrain in the robot's coordinate frame using only a single camera, which has been applied to both simulated arctic terrain and real images. The slope estimates are then converted into the global coordinate frame using information from a roll sensor, used as an input to a fuzzy logic navigation scheme, and tested in a simulated arctic environment.