Keble College; \Delta; Robotics Research Group; Department of Engineering Science; University of Oxford
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Active cameras provide a navigating vehicle with the ability to fixate and track features over extended periods of time, and wide fields of view. While it is relatively straightforward to apply fixating vision to tactical, short-term navigation tasks, using serial fixation on a succession of features to provide global information for strategic navigation is more involved. However, active vision is seemingly well-suited to this task: the ability to measure features over such a wide range means that the same ones can be used as a robot makes a wide range of movements. This has advantages for map-building and localisation. The core work of this thesis concerns simultaneous localisation and map-building for a robot with a stereo active head, operating in an unknown environment and using point features in the world as visual landmarks. Importance has been attached to producing maps which are useful for extended periods of navigation. Many map-building methods fail on extended runs because ...