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Vision-based Human Detection from Mobile Machinery in Industrial Environments
Örebro University, School of Science and Technology, Örebro University, Sweden.
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The problem addressed in this thesis is the detection, localisation and tracking of human workers from mobile industrial machinery using a customised vision system developed at Örebro University. Coined the RefleX Vision System, its hardware configuration and computer vision algorithms were specifically designed for real-world industrial scenarios where workers are required to wear protective high-visibility garments with retro-reflective markers. The demand for robust industry-purpose human sensing methods originates from the fact that many industrial environments represent work spaces that are shared between humans and mobile machinery. Typical examples of such environments include construction sites, surface and underground mines, storage yards and warehouses. Here, accidents involving mobile equipment and human workers frequently result in serious injuries and fatalities. Robust sensor-based detection of humans in the surrounding of mobile equipment is therefore an active research topic and represents a crucial requirement for safe vehicle operation and accident prevention in increasingly automated production sites. Addressing the described safety issue, this thesis presents a collection of papers which introduce, analyse and evaluate a novel vision-based method for detecting humans equipped with protective high-visibility garments in the neighbourhood of manned or unmanned industrial vehicles. The thesis provides a comprehensive discussion of the numerous aspects regarding the design of the hardware and the computer vision algorithms that constitute the vision system. An active nearinfrared camera setup that is customised for the robust perception of retroreflective markers builds the basis for the sensing method. Using its specific input, a set of computer vision and machine learning algorithms then perform extraction, analysis, classification and localisation of the observed reflective patterns, and eventually detection and tracking of workers with protective garments. Multiple real-world challenges, which existing methods frequently struggle to cope with, are discussed throughout the thesis, including varying ambient lighting conditions and human body pose variation. The presented work has been carried out with a strong focus on industrial applicability, and therefore includes an extensive experimental evaluation in a number of different real-world indoor and outdoor work environments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro university , 2016. , 68 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Technology, ISSN 1650-8580 ; 68
Keyword [en]
Industrial Safety, Mobile Machinery, Human Detection, Computer Vision, Machine Learning, Infrared Vision, High-visibility Clothing, Reflective Markers
National Category
Computer Science
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-48324ISBN: 978-91-7529-126-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-48324DiVA: diva2:903530
Public defence
2016-04-14, Långhuset, Hörsal 1, Örebro universitet, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-02-16 Created: 2016-02-16 Last updated: 2016-03-24Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Estimating the 3D Position of Humans Wearing a Reflective Vest Using a Single Camera System
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Estimating the 3D Position of Humans Wearing a Reflective Vest Using a Single Camera System
2014 (English)In: Field and Service Robotics: Results of the 8th International Conference / [ed] Yoshida, Kazuya, Tadokoro, Satoshi, Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2014, 143-157 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This chapter presents a novel possible solution for people detection and estimation of their 3D position in challenging shared environments. Addressing safety critical applications in industrial environments, we make the basic assumption that people wear reflective vests. In order to detect these vests and to discriminate them from other reflective material, we propose an approach based on a single camera equipped with an IR flash. The camera acquires pairs of images, one with and one without IR flash, in short succession. The images forming a pair are then related to each other through feature tracking, which allows to discard features for which the relative intensity difference is small and which are thus not believed to belong to a reflective vest. Next, the local neighbourhood of the remaining features is further analysed. First, a Random Forest classifier is used to discriminate between features caused by a reflective vest and features caused by some other reflective materials. Second, the distance between the camera and the vest features is estimated using a Random Forest regressor. The proposed system was evaluated in one indoor and two challenging outdoor scenarios. Our results indicate very good classification performance and remarkably accurate distance estimation especially in combination with the SURF descriptor, even under direct exposure to sunlight.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2014
Series
Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics, ISSN 1610-7438 ; 92
Keyword
People Detection, Industrial Safety, Reflective Vest Detection
National Category
Computer Science
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-41334 (URN)10.1007/978-3-642-40686-7_10 (DOI)978-3-642-40685-0 (ISBN)978-3-642-40686-7 (ISBN)
Projects
SAVIE
Available from: 2015-01-14 Created: 2015-01-14 Last updated: 2016-03-23Bibliographically approved
2. An Inexpensive Monocular Vision System for Tracking Humans in Industrial Environments
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An Inexpensive Monocular Vision System for Tracking Humans in Industrial Environments
2013 (English)In: Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), IEEE conference proceedings, 2013, 5850-5857 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

We report on a novel vision-based method for reliable human detection from vehicles operating in industrial environments in the vicinity of workers. By exploiting the fact that reflective vests represent a standard safety equipment on most industrial worksites, we use a single camera system and active IR illumination to detect humans by identifying the reflective vest markers. Adopting a sparse feature based approach, we classify vest markers against other reflective material and perform supervised learning of the object distance based on local image descriptors. The integration of the resulting per-feature 3D position estimates in a particle filter finally allows to perform human tracking in conditions ranging from broad daylight to complete darkness.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE conference proceedings, 2013
Series
Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2013 IEEE International Conference on, ISSN 1050-4729
Keyword
Human Detection, Robot Vision, Industrial Safety
National Category
Computer Science
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-30767 (URN)10.1109/ICRA.2013.6631419 (DOI)000337617305131 ()2-s2.0-84887269624 (Scopus ID)978-1-4673-5641-1 (ISBN)
Conference
2013 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) Karlsruhe, Germany, May 6-10, 2013
Available from: 2013-09-11 Created: 2013-09-11 Last updated: 2017-03-06Bibliographically approved
3. Multi-human Tracking using High-visibility Clothing for Industrial Safety
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Multi-human Tracking using High-visibility Clothing for Industrial Safety
2013 (English)In: Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2013, 638-644 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

We propose and evaluate a system for detecting and tracking multiple humans wearing high-visibility clothing from vehicles operating in industrial work environments. We use a customized stereo camera setup equipped with IR flash and IR filter to detect the reflective material on the worker's garments and estimate their trajectories in 3D space. An evaluation in two distinct industrial environments with different degrees of complexity demonstrates the approach to be robust and accurate for tracking workers in arbitrary body poses, under occlusion, and under a wide range of different illumination settings.

Series
Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2013 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on, ISSN 2153-0858
Keyword
Human Detection, Robot Vision, Industrial Safety
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-32962 (URN)10.1109/IROS.2013.6696418 (DOI)000331367400094 ()2-s2.0-84893714622 (Scopus ID)
Conference
2013 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) November 3-7, 2013. Tokyo, Japan
Available from: 2014-01-08 Created: 2014-01-08 Last updated: 2016-08-10Bibliographically approved
4. A customized vision system for tracking humans wearing reflective safety clothing from industrial vehicles and machinery
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A customized vision system for tracking humans wearing reflective safety clothing from industrial vehicles and machinery
2014 (English)In: Sensors, ISSN 1424-8220, E-ISSN 1424-8220, Vol. 14, no 10, 17952-17980 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article presents a novel approach for vision-based detection and tracking of humans wearing high-visibility clothing with retro-reflective markers. Addressing industrial applications where heavy vehicles operate in the vicinity of humans, we deploy a customized stereo camera setup with active illumination that allows for efficient detection of the reflective patterns created by the worker's safety garments. After segmenting reflective objects from the image background, the interest regions are described with local image feature descriptors and classified in order to discriminate safety garments from other reflective objects in the scene. In a final step, the trajectories of the detected humans are estimated in 3D space relative to the camera. We evaluate our tracking system in two industrial real-world work environments on several challenging video sequences. The experimental results indicate accurate tracking performance and good robustness towards partial occlusions, body pose variation, and a wide range of different illumination conditions.

Keyword
infrared vision, human detection, industrial safety, high-visibility clothing
National Category
Computer Vision and Robotics (Autonomous Systems)
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-39811 (URN)10.3390/s141017952 (DOI)000344455700006 ()25264956 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-84908518665 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2014-12-16 Created: 2014-12-16 Last updated: 2016-08-10Bibliographically approved

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