Section: Application Domains
The natural applications of our research are obviously in robotics. In the past, we mainly worked in the following fields:
grasping and manipulating tools in hostile environments such as nuclear environment typically;
underwater robotics for the stabilization of images and the positioning of uninstrumented robot arm;
agro-industry for the positioning of a vision sensor in order to ensure an improvement of the quality controls of agro-alimentary products; and
video surveillance by the control of the movements of a pan-tilt camera to track mobile natural objects.
More recently, we addressed the field of mobile robotics through activities around the Cycab vehicle (see Section 5.6 ): detection and tracking of mobile objects (pedestrians, other vehicles), control by visual servoing of the movements of the vehicle.
In fact, researches undertaken in the Lagadic group can apply to all the fields of robotics implying a vision sensor. They are indeed conceived to be independent of the system considered (and the robot and the vision sensor can even be virtual for some applications).
Currently, we are interested in using visual servoing for robot arms in space, micromanipulation, autonomous vehicle navigation in large urban environments, and underactuated flying robots such as miniature helicopters and aircrafts.
We also address the field of medical robotics. The applications we consider turn around new functionalities of assistance to the clinician during a medical examination: visual servoing on echographic images, active perception for the optimal generation of 3D echographic images, compensation of organ motions, etc.
Robotics is not the only possible application field to our researches. In the past, we were interested in applying visual servoing in computer animation, either for controlling the motions of virtual humanoids according to their pseudo-perception, or for controlling the point of view of visual restitution of an animation. In both cases, potential applications are in the field of virtual reality, for example for the realization of video games, or virtual cinematography.
Applications also exist in computer vision and augmented reality. It is then a question of carrying out a virtual visual servoing for the 3D localization of a tool with respect to the vision sensor, or for the estimation of its 3D motion. This field of application is very promising, because it is in full rise for the realization of special effects in the multi-media field or for the design and the inspection of objects manufactured in the industrial world.
Lastly, our work in visual servoing and active perception could be related with those carried out in cognitive science, in particular in the field of psychovision (for example on the study of eye motion in the animal and human visual system, on the study of the representation of perception, or on the study of the links between action and perception).