Generic Distance-Invariant Features for Detecting People with Walking Aid in 2D Laser Range Data

  • Christoph Weinrich
  • Tim Wengefeld
  • Michael Volkhardt
  • Andrea Scheidig
  • Horst-Michael Gross
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 302)


People detection in 2D laser range data is a popular cue for person tracking in mobile robotics. Many approaches are designed to detect pairs of legs. These approaches perform well in many public environments. However, we are working on an assistance robot for stroke patients in a rehabilitation center, where most of the people need walking aids. These tools occlude or touch the legs of the patients. Thereby, approaches based on pure leg detection fail. The essential contribution of this paper are generic distance-invariant range scan features for people detection in 2D laser range data. The proposed approach was used to train classifiers for detecting people without walking aids, people with walkers, people in wheelchairs, and people with crutches. By the use of these features, the detection accuracy of people without walking aids increased from an \(F_1\) score of 0.85 to 0.96, compared to the state-of-the-art features of Arras et al. Moreover, people with walkers are detected with an \(F_1\) score of 0.95 and people in wheelchairs with an \(F_1\) score of 0.94. The proposed detection algorithm takes on average less then 1 % of the resources of a 2.8 GHz CPU core to process 270\(^{\circ }\) laser range data with an update rate of 12 Hz.


Person detection 2D laser range data Rehabilitation robotics 



This work has received funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of the ROREAS project under grant agreement no. 16SV6133 and from the Fed. State of Thuringia and the European Social Fund (OP 2007–2013) under grant agreement N501/2009 to the project SERROGA (proj. no. 2011FGR0107).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christoph Weinrich
    • 1
  • Tim Wengefeld
    • 1
  • Michael Volkhardt
    • 1
  • Andrea Scheidig
    • 1
  • Horst-Michael Gross
    • 1
  1. 1.Neuroinformatics and Cognitive Robotics LabIlmenau University of TechnologyIlmenauGermany

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