Skip to main content Accessibility help

Multi-agent system for people detection and tracking using stereo vision in mobile robots

  • R. Muñoz-Salinas (a1), E. Aguirre (a2), M. García-Silvente (a2), A. Ayesh (a3) and M. Góngora (a3)...

People detection and tracking are essential capabilities in order to achieve a natural human–robot interaction. A great portion of the research in that area has been focused on monocular techniques. However, the use of stereo vision for these purposes concentrates a great interest nowadays. This paper presents a multi-agent system that implements a basic set of perceptual-motor skills providing mobile robots with primitive interaction capabilities. The skills designed use stereo and ultrasound information to enable mobile robots to (i) detect an interested user who desires to interact with the robot, (ii) keep track of the user while they move in the environment without confusing them with other people, and (iii) follow the user along the environment avoiding obstacles in the way. The system presented has been evaluated in several real-life experiments achieving good results and real-time performance on modest computers.

Corresponding author
*Corresponding author. E-mail:
Hide All
1. Aherne, F., Thacker, N. and Rockett, P., “The Bhattacharyya metric as an absolute similarity measure for frequency coded data,” Kybernetica 32, 17 (1997).
2. Arkin, R. C., “Path Planning for a Vision-Based Autonomous Robot,” In: Proceedings of the SPIE Conference on Mobile Robots, Cambridge, MA (1986) pp. 240249.
3. Arkin, R. C., Behavior-Based Robotics (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1998).
4. Bennewitz, M., Burgard, W., Cielniak, G. and Thrun, S., “Learning motion patterns of people for compliant motion,” Int. J. Robot. Res. 24, 3148 (2005).
5. Beymer, D. and Knolige, K., “Tracking people from a mobile platform,” Experimental Robotics VIII 5 (2003) 234244.
6. Borenstein, J. and Koren, Y., “Real-time obstacle avoidance for fast mobile robots,” IEEE Trans. Syst. Man Cybernet. 19 (5), 11791187 (1989).
7. Breazeal, C., “Social interactions in HRI: The robot view,” IEEE Trans. Syst. Man Cybernet., Part C 34, 181186 (2004).
8. Brooks, R. A., “A robust layered control system for a mobile robot,” IEEE J. Robot. Autonom., RA-2, 1423 (1986).
9. Brown, M. Z., Burschka, D. and Hager, G. D., “Advances in computational stereo,” IEEE Trans. Pattern Anal. Mach. Intell. 25, 9931008 (2003).
10. Burgard, W., Cremers, A. B., Fox, D., Hähnel, D., Lakemeyer, G., Schulz, D., Steiner, W. and Thurn, S., “Experiences with an interactive museum tour-guide robot,” Artif. Intell. 144, 355 (1999).
11. Checka, N., Wilson, K., Rangarajan, V. and Darrell, T., “A Probabilistic Framework for Multi-modal Multi-person Tracking,” In: Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Workshop (2003) pp. 100–107.
12. Cipolla, R. and Yamamoto, M., “Stereoscopic tracking of bodies in motion,” Image Vis. Comput. 8, 8590 (1990).
13. Colombo, C., Del Bimbo, A. and Valli, A., “Visual capture and understanding of hand pointing actions in a 3-D environment,” IEEE Trans. Syst. Man Cybernet., Part B 33, 677686 (2003).
14. Darrell, T., Gordon, G., Harville, M. and Woodfill, J., “Integrated person tracking using stereo, color, and pattern detection,” Int. J. Comput. Vis. 37, 175185 (2000).
15. Eklundh, J.-O., Nordlund, P. and Uhlin, T., “Issues in Active Vision: Attention and Cue Integration/selection,” In: British Machine Vision Conference (September 1996) pp. 1–12.
16. Falcone, E., Gockley, R., Porter, E. and Nourbakhsh, I., “The personal rover project: The comprehensive design of a domestic personal robot,” Robot. Autonom. Syst. 42, 245258 (2003).
17. Foley, J. D. and van Dam, A., Fundamentals of Interactive Computer Graphics (Addison Wesley, Boston, MA, 1982).
18. Fong, T., Nourbakhsh, I. and Dautenhahn, K., “A survey of socially interactive robots,” Robot. Autonom. Syst. 42, 143166 (2003).
19. Franklin, D., Kahn, R. E., Swain, M. J. and Firby, R. J., “Happy Patrons make Better Tippers: Creating a Robot Waiter using Perseus and the Animate Agent Architecture,” In: International Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition (1996) pp. 14–16.
20. Fritsch, J., Kleinehagenbrock, M., Lang, S., Plötz, T., Fink, G. A. and Sagerer, G., “Multi-modal anchoring for human-robot interaction,” Robot. Autonom. Syst. 43, 133147 (2003).
21. Fujita, M. and Kitano, H., “Development of an autonomous quadruped robot for robot entertainment,” Autonom. Robot. 5, 718 (1998).
22. Gat, E., Reliable Goal-Directed Reactive Control of Autonomous Mobile Robots Ph.D. Thesis (Virginia Polytechnic Institute, 1991).
23. Ghidary, S. S., Nakata, Y., Takamori, T. and Hattori, M., “Human Detection and Localization at Indoor Environment by Home Robot,” IEEE International Conference on System Man, and Cybernetics, 2 (2000) pp. 13601365.
24. Grewal, M. S. and Andrews, A. P., Kalman Filtering: Theory and Practice (Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliff, NJ, 1993).
25. Haritaoglu, I., Harwood, D. and Davis, L. S., “W4: Real-time surveillance of people and their activities,” IEEE Trans. Pattern Anal. Mach. Intell. 22, 809830 (2000).
26. Harville, M., “Stereo person tracking with adaptive plan-view templates of height and occupancy statistics,” Image Vis. Comput. 2, 127142 (2004).
27. Hayashi, K., Hashimoto, M., Sumi, K. and Sasakawa, K., “Multiple-person Tracker with a Fixed Slanting Stereo Camera,” In: 6th IEEE International Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition (2004) pp. 681–686.
28. Hayashi, K., Hirai, T., Sumi, K. and Sasakawa, K., “Multiple-person tracking using a plan-view map with error estimation,” Computer Vision – ACCV 2006. Lectures Notes on Computer Sciences, 3851 (2006), pp. 359368.
29. Hirai, N. and Mizoguchi, H., “Visual Tracking of Human Back and Shoulder for Person Following Robot,” In: IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics, 1 (2003) pp. 527532.
30. Hoppenot, P. and Colle, E., “Localization and control of a rehabilitation mobile robot by close human-machine cooperation,” IEEE Trans. Neural Syst. Rehabil. Eng. 9, 181190 (2001).
31. Intel. OpenCV: Open source Computer Vision library.
32. Jojic, N., Brumitt, B., Meyers, B., Harris, S. and Huang, T., “Detection and Estimation of Pointing Gestures in Dense Disparity Maps,” In: 4th IEEE International Conference Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition (2000) pp. 468–475.
33. Kahn, R. E., Swain, M. J., Prokopowicz, P. N. and Firby, R. J., “Gesture Recognition using the Perseus Architecture,” In: IEEE Computer Society Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR '96) (1996) pp. 734–741.
34. Kehl, R. and Van Gool, L., “Real-time Pointing Gesture Recognition for an Immersive Environment,” In: 6th IEEE International Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition (2004) pp. 577–582.
35. Kruppa, H., Castrillon-Santana, M. and Schiele, B., “Fast and Robust Face Finding via Local Context,” Joint IEEE International Workshop on Visual Surveillance and Performance Evaluation of Tracking and Surveillance (2003).
36. Lauria, S., Bugmann, G., Kyriacou, T., Bos, J. and Klein, A., “Training personal robots using natural language instruction,” IEEE Intell. Syst. Appl. 16, 3845 (2001).
37. Lienhart, R. and Maydt, J., “An Extended Set of Haar-like Features for Rapid Object Detection,” IEEE Conference on Image Processing (2002) pp. 900–903.
38. Maes, P., Darrell, T., Blumberg, B. and Pentland, A., “The alive system: Full-body interaction with autonomous agents,” IEEE Press in Computer Animation (1995) pp. 11–18.
39. Mu noz-Salinas, R., Aguirre, E., García-Silvente, M. and Gómez, M., “A multi-agent system architecture for mobile robot navigation based on fuzzy and visual behaviours,” Robotica 23, 689699 (2005).
40. Pineau, J., Montemerlo, M., Pollack, M., Roy, N. and Thrun, S., “Towards robotic assistants in nursing homes: Challenges and results,” Robot. Autonom. Syst. 42, 271281 (2003).
41. Saito, H., Ishimura, K., Hattori, M. and Takamori, T., “Multi-modal Human Robot Interaction for Map Generation,” In: 41st SICE Annual Conference (SICE 2002), 5 (2002) pp. 27212724.
42. Schulz, D., Burgard, W., Fox, D. and Cremers, A. B., “People tracking with mobile robots using sample-based joint probabilistic data association filters,” Int. J. Robot. Res. 22 (2), 99116 (2003).
43. Severinson-Eklundh, K., Green, A. and Hüttenrauch, H., “Social and collaborative aspects of interaction with a service robot,” Robot. Autonom. Syst. 42, 223234 (2003).
44. Sidenbladh, H., Kragic, D. and Christensen, H. I., “A Person Following Behaviour for a Mobile Robot,” In: IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, 1 (1999) pp. 670675.
45. Siegwart, R., Arras, K. O., Bouabdallah, S., Burnier, D., Froidevaux, G., Greppin, X., Jensen, B., Lorotte, A., Mayor, L. and Meisser, M., “Robox at expo.02: A large-scale installation of personal robots,” Robot. Autonom. Syst. 42, 203222 (2003).
46. Sigal, L., Sclaroff, S. and Athitsos, V., “Skin color-based video segmentation under time-varying illumination,” IEEE Trans. Pattern Anal. Mach. Intell. 26, 862877 (2004).
47. Viola, P. and Jones, M., “Rapid Object Detection using a Boosted Cascade of Simple Features,” In: IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (2001) pp. 511–518.
48. Zhao, T., Aggarwal, M., Kumar, R. and Sawhney, H., “Real-time Wide Area Multi-camera Stereo Tracking,” In: Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR 2005) (2005) pp. 976– 983.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

  • ISSN: 0263-5747
  • EISSN: 1469-8668
  • URL: /core/journals/robotica
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed