Through the Looking Glass: Diminishing Occlusions in Robot Vision Systems with Mirror Reflections

Kentaro Yoshioka, Hidenori Okuni, Tuan Thanh Ta, Akihide Sai

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The quality of robot vision greatly affects the performance of automation systems, where occlusions stand as one of the biggest challenges. If the target is occluded from the sensor, detecting and grasping such objects become very challenging. For example, when multiple robot arms cooperate in a single workplace, occlusions will be created under the robot arm itself and hide objects underneath. While occlusions can be greatly reduced by installing multiple sensors, the increase in sensor costs cannot be ignored. Moreover, the sensor placements must be rearranged every time the robot operation routine and layout change.To diminish occlusions, we propose the first robot vision system with tilt-type mirror reflection sensing. By instantly tilting the sensor itself, we obtain two sensing results with different views: conventional direct line-of-sight sensing and non-line-of-sight sensing via mirror reflections. Our proposed system removes occlusions adaptively by detecting the occlusions in the scene and dynamically configuring the sensor tilt angle to sense the detected occluded area. Thus, sensor rearrangements are not required even after changes in robot operation or layout. Since the required hardware is the tilt-unit and a commercially available mirror, the cost increase is marginal. Through experiments, we show that our system can achieve a similar detection accuracy as systems with multiple sensors, regardless of the single-sensor implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2021
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages1578-1584
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781665417143
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event2021 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2021 - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 2021 Sep 272021 Oct 1

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
ISSN (Print)2153-0858
ISSN (Electronic)2153-0866

Conference

Conference2021 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2021
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic
CityPrague
Period21/9/2721/10/1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Science Applications

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