Navigating a Path Delineated by Colored Flags: An Approach for a 2011 IGVC Requirement

Szmatula, Alex, Matt Parrish, Mohan Krishnan, Mark Paulik, Utayba Mohammad, and Chaomin Luo

In this work, we address a situation presented as a new requirement for the Autonomous Challenge portion of the 2011 Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC). This new requirement is to navigate between red and green colored flags placed within the normal white painted lane lines. The regular vision algorithms had to be enhanced to reliably identify and localize the colored flags, while the Navigation algorithms had to be modified to satisfy the constraints placed on the robot while transiting through the flag region. The challenge in finding a solution was the size of the flags, the possibility of loosing them against the background, as well as their movement in the wind. The attendant possibility of false positives and negatives also needed to be addressed to increase reliability of detection. Preliminary tests on the robot have produced positive results.