Using Omnidirectional Vision to Create a Model of the Environment: A Comparative Evaluation of Global-Appearance Descriptors
Nowadays, the design of fully autonomous mobile robots is a key discipline. Building a robust model of the unknown environment is an important ability the robot must develop. Using this model, this robot must be able to estimate its current position and to navigate to the target points. The use of omnidirectional vision sensors is usual to solve these tasks. When using this source of information, the robot must extract relevant information from the scenes both to build the model and to estimate its position. The possible frameworks include the classical approach of extracting and describing local features or working with the global appearance of the scenes, which has emerged as a conceptually simple and robust solution. While feature-based techniques have been extensively studied in the literature, appearance-based ones require a full comparative evaluation to reveal the performance of the existing methods and to tune correctly their parameters. This work carries out a comparative evaluation of four global-appearance techniques in map building tasks, using omnidirectional visual information as the only source of data from the environment.