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The Cyborg Astrobiologist: First Field Experience

AuthorsMcGuire, Patrick C.; Ormö, Jens ; Díaz-Martínez, Enrique; Rodríguez-Manfredi, José Antonio ; Gómez-Elvira, Javier ; Ritter, Helge; Oesker, Markus; Ontrup, Joerg
KeywordsComputer vision
Image segmentation
Uncommon map
Interest map
Field Geology
Wearable computers
Co-occurrence histograms
Issue Date27-Oct-2004
PublisherCambridge University Press
CitationarXiv:cs/0410071v1 [cs.CV]
Int.J.Astrobiol. 3 (2004) 189-207
AbstractWe present results from the first geological field tests of the `Cyborg Astrobiologist', which is a wearable computer and video camcorder system that we are using to test and train a computer-vision system towards having some of the autonomous decision-making capabilities of a field-geologist and field-astrobiologist. The Cyborg Astrobiologist platform has thus far been used for testing and development of these algorithms and systems: robotic acquisition of quasi-mosaics of images, real-time image segmentation, and real-time determination of interesting points in the image mosaics. The hardware and software systems function reliably, and the computer-vision algorithms are adequate for the first field tests. In addition to the proof-of-concept aspect of these field tests, the main result of these field tests is the enumeration of those issues that we can improve in the future, including: first, detection and accounting for shadows caused by 3D jagged edges in the outcrop; second, reincorporation of more sophisticated texture-analysis algorithms into the system; third, creation of hardware and software capabilities to control the camera's zoom lens in an intelligent manner; and fourth, development of algorithms for interpretation of complex geological scenery. Nonetheless, despite these technical inadequacies, this Cyborg Astrobiologist system, consisting of a camera-equipped wearable-computer and its computer-vision algorithms, has demonstrated its ability of finding genuinely interesting points in real-time in the geological scenery, and then gathering more information about these interest points in an automated manner.
Description29 pages, 10 figures.-- Final editor version available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S147355040500220X
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