Colour Histogram Algorithms for Visual Robot Control

J.L. Buessler, J.P. Urban, G. Hermann, and H. Kihl


Colour histogram similarity, colour histogram footprint, multi-coloured objects, object tracking, histogram intersection


This paper evaluates the potential of colour histogram techniques for the approach phase in the visual servoing of a camera mounted on a robot arm. We propose two complementary methods to detect, locate, and estimate the size of a target object in video images in order to extract basic visual features for robotic control. The colour histogram similarity method identifies the object and its location by comparing the colour histogram of a search window with the histogram of a reference object. It can be used to estimate the size of the object which varies strongly when the camera approaches or moves away from the object. However this estimation is coarse and computationally intense. We introduce a new technique, the colour histogram footprint that creates a binary image where the outline of the object stands out, like a footprint. Using this imprint, it becomes easy to determine the precise size and location of the target object. The combination of these two techniques permits tracking of video target objects in real time.

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