The use of active deformable models in model-based robotic visual servoing

Philippe A. Couvignou, Nikolaos P. Papanikolopoulos, Mike J Sullivan, Pradeep K. Khosla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This paper presents a new approach for visual tracking and servoing in robotics. We introduce deformable active models as a powerful means for tracking a rigid or semi-rigid (possibly partially occluded) object in movement within the manipulator's workspace. Deformable models imitate, in real-time, the dynamic behavior of elastic structures. These computer-generated models are designed to capture the silhouette of objects with well-defined boundaries, in terms of image gradient. By means of an eye-in-hand robot arm configuration, the desired motion of the end-effector is computed with the objective of keeping the target's position and shape invariant with respect to the camera frame. Optimal estimation and control techniques (LQG regulator) have been successfully implemented in order to deal with noisy measurements provided by our vision sensor. Experimental results are presented for the tracking of a rigid or semi-rigid object. The experiments performed in a real-time environment show the effectiveness and robustness of the proposed method for servoing tasks based on visual feedback.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-221
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems: Theory and Applications
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996


  • Active deformable models
  • Eye-in-hand robotic systems
  • Model-based tracking
  • Robotic visual servoing


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