Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Computer Science


Computer Science


John Seng


This work presents improvements to Monte Carlo Localization (MCL) for a mobile robot using computer vision. Solutions to the localization problem aim to provide fine resolution on location approximation, and also be resistant to changes in the environment. One such environment change is the kidnapped/teleported robot problem, where a robot is suddenly transported to a new location and must re-localize. The standard method of "Augmented MCL" uses particle filtering combined with addition of random particles under certain conditions to solve the kidnapped robot problem. This solution is robust, but not always fast. This work combines Histogram of Oriented Gradients (HOG) computer vision with particle filtering to speed up the localization process.

The major slowdown in Augmented MCL is the conditional addition of random particles, which depends on the ratio of a short term and long term average of particle weights. This ratio does not change quickly when a robot is kidnapped, leading the robot to believe it is in the wrong location for a period of time. This work replaces this average-based conditional with a comparison of the HOG image directly in front of the robot with a cached version. This resulted in a speedup ranging from from 25.3% to 80.7% (depending on parameters used) in localization time over the baseline Augmented MCL.