Underwater object detection and recognition using computer vision are challenging tasks due to the poor light condition of submerged environments. For intervention missions requiring grasping and manipulation of submerged objects, a vision system must provide an Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) with object detection, localization and tracking capabilities. In this paper, we describe the integration of a vision system in the MARIS intervention AUV and its configuration for detecting cylindrical pipes, a typical artifact of interest in underwater operations. Pipe edges are tracked using an alpha-beta filter to achieve robustness and return a reliable pose estimation even in case of partial pipe visibility. Experiments in an outdoor water pool in different light conditions show that the adopted algorithmic approach allows detection of target pipes and provides a sufficiently accurate estimation of their pose even when they become partially visible, thereby supporting the AUV in several successful pipe grasping operations.
Integration of a stereo vision system into an autonomous underwater vehicle for pipe manipulation tasks / Lodi Rizzini, Dario; Kallasi, Fabjan; Aleotti, Jacopo; Oleari, Fabio; Caselli, Stefano. - In: COMPUTERS & ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING. - ISSN 0045-7906. - 58(2017), pp. 560-571. [10.1016/j.compeleceng.2016.08.023]