Robotic Sightseeing - A Method for Automatically Creating Virtual Environments


This paper describes the fully automatic creation of an environment's description using an image-based representation. This representation is a collection of cylindrical sample images combined into an "image-based virtual reality". The locations at which the environment will be sampled are chosen automatically using an operator inspired by models of human visual attention and saccadic motion.

The image acquisition is performed by a mobile robot. The selection of vantage points is based on an analysis of the edge structure of sampled panoramic images. In order to trade off the optimality of the generated description of the navigation effort required in solving the on-line problem, a concept referred to as alpha-backtracking is introduced. The paper illustrates sample data acquired by the procedure.