A mosaicking technique for object identification in underwater environments

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Alexandra Nunes
Ana Gaspar
Andry Maykol Pinto
Aníbal Matos
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Purpose: This paper aims to present a mosaicking method for underwater robotic applications, whose result can be provided to other perceptual systems for scene understanding such as real-time object recognition. Design/methodology/approach: This method is called robust and large-scale mosaicking (ROLAMOS) and presents an efficient frame-to-frame motion estimation with outlier removal and consistency checking that maps large visual areas in high resolution. The visual mosaic of the sea-floor is created on-the-fly by a robust registration procedure that composes monocular observations and manages the computational resources. Moreover, the registration process of ROLAMOS aligns the observation to the existing mosaic. Findings: A comprehensive set of experiments compares the performance of ROLAMOS to other similar approaches, using both data sets (publicly available) and live data obtained by a ROV operating in real scenes. The results demonstrate that ROLAMOS is adequate for mapping of sea-floor scenarios as it provides accurate information from the seabed, which is of extreme importance for autonomous robots surveying the environment that does not rely on specialized computers. Originality/value: The ROLAMOS is suitable for robotic applications that require an online, robust and effective technique to reconstruct the underwater environment from only visual information. © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited.