Qualitative robot localisation using information from cast shadows

Valquiria Fenelon, Hannah Dee, Paulo E. Santos

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Abstract Recently, cognitive psychologists and others have turned their attention to the formerly neglected study of shadows, and the information they purvey. These studies show that the human perceptual system values information from shadows very highly, particularly in the perception of depth, even to the detriment of other cues. However with a few notable exceptions, computer vision systems have treated shadows not as signal but as noise. This paper makes a step towards redressing this imbalance by considering the formal representation of shadows. We take one particular aspect of reasoning about shadows, developing the idea that shadows carry information about a fragment of the viewpoint of the light source. We start from the observation that the region on which the shadow is cast is occluded by the caster with respect to the light source and build a qualitative theory about shadows using a region-based spatial formalism about occlusion. Using this spatial formalism and a machine vision system we are able to draw simple conclusions about domain objects and egolocation for a mobile robot.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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