, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 121-136
Date: 11 Mar 2010

A Bank of Unscented Kalman Filters for Multimodal Human Perception with Mobile Service Robots

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Abstract

A new generation of mobile service robots could be ready soon to operate in human environments if they can robustly estimate position and identity of surrounding people. Researchers in this field face a number of challenging problems, among which sensor uncertainties and real-time constraints. In this paper, we propose a novel and efficient solution for simultaneous tracking and recognition of people within the observation range of a mobile robot. Multisensor techniques for legs and face detection are fused in a robust probabilistic framework to height, clothes and face recognition algorithms. The system is based on an efficient bank of Unscented Kalman Filters that keeps a multi-hypothesis estimate of the person being tracked, including the case where the latter is unknown to the robot. Several experiments with real mobile robots are presented to validate the proposed approach. They show that our solutions can improve the robot’s perception and recognition of humans, providing a useful contribution for the future application of service robotics.