Autonomous Robots

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 227–242

Fast RGB-D people tracking for service robots


DOI: 10.1007/s10514-014-9385-0

Cite this article as:
Munaro, M. & Menegatti, E. Auton Robot (2014) 37: 227. doi:10.1007/s10514-014-9385-0


Service robots have to robustly follow and interact with humans. In this paper, we propose a very fast multi-people tracking algorithm designed to be applied on mobile service robots. Our approach exploits RGB-D data and can run in real-time at very high frame rate on a standard laptop without the need for a GPU implementation. It also features a novel depth-based sub-clustering method which allows to detect people within groups or even standing near walls. Moreover, for limiting drifts and track ID switches, an online learning appearance classifier is proposed featuring a three-term joint likelihood. We compared the performances of our system with a number of state-of-the-art tracking algorithms on two public datasets acquired with three static Kinects and a moving stereo pair, respectively. In order to validate the 3D accuracy of our system, we created a new dataset in which RGB-D data are acquired by a moving robot. We made publicly available this dataset which is not only annotated by hand, but the ground-truth position of people and robot are acquired with a motion capture system in order to evaluate tracking accuracy and precision in 3D coordinates. Results of experiments on these datasets are presented, showing that, even without the need for a GPU, our approach achieves state-of-the-art accuracy and superior speed.


People tracking Service robots RGB-D Kinect tracking precision dataset Microsoft kinect 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Information EngineeringUniversity of PadovaPadovaItaly

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