Rob MacLachlan: Laser Tracking Work

In 2003-2006 I worked on algorithms for tracking moving objects using a laser scanner that is itself in motion. In this work I developed algorithms to reliably estimate velocity, accelleration and turn rate so that the future path of the track can be predicted.  This was work for the Navlab project as part of a Transit Bus Collision Warning System.

We mainly used the SICK LMS 200 scanner, which has 180 degree field of view, and a single scan plane.  We oriented the scanners horizontally to give a map-like 2D image.  Depending on settings the angular resolution is 1, 0.5 or 0.25 degrees, but the higher resolution modes are interlaced, reducing the scan rate and causing motion artifacts.

I also did some further development as part of the CTA program involving adding tracking objects through occlusion and clutter.  We did some testing with an unmanned off-road vehicle (the XUV.)
Anyone who is working on this sort of technology, especially for a vehicle safey application, should be aware of IBEO which is commerically developing laser scanners and tracking software specifically for vehicle safety.  The specifications of their scanners are very nice and their software appears to be sophisticated.  Unfortunately, IBEO is currently not interested in making their hardware or software available to researchers at an affordable price.  For what it's worth, IBEO is a subdivision of SICK.
Last update 13 September 2006

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