A classification-lock tracking strategy allowing a person-following robot to operate in a complicated indoor environment

Shenlu Jiang, Wei Yao, Zhonghua Hong, Ling Li, Cheng Su, Tae Yong Kuc

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Person-following technology is an important robot service. The major trend of person-following is to utilize computer vision technology to localize the target person, due to the wide view and rich information that is obtained from the real world through a camera. However, most existing approaches employ the detecting-by-tracking strategy, which suffers from low speed, accompanied with more complicated detecting models and unstable region of interest (ROI) outputs in unexpressed situations. In this paper, we propose a novel classification-lock strategy to localize the target person, which incorporates the visual tracking technology with object detection technology, to adapt the localization model to different environments online, and to keep a high frame-per-second (FPS) on the mobile platform. This person-following approach consists of three key parts. In the first step, a pairwise cluster tracker is employed to localize the person. A positive and negative classifier is then utilized to verify the tracker’s result and to update the tracking model. In addition, a detector pre-trained by a CPU-optimized convolutional neural network is used to further improve the result of tracking. In the experiment, our approach is compared with other state-of-art approaches by a Vojir tracking dataset, with three sequences in the items of human to prove the quality of person localization. Moreover, the common challenges during the following task are evaluated by several image sequences in a static scene, and a dynamic scene is used to evaluate the improvement from the classification-lock strategy. Finally, our approach is deployed on a mobile robot to test its performance on the function of the person-following. Compared with other state-of-art methods, our approach achieves the highest score (0.91 recall rate). In the static and dynamic scene, the output of the ROI based on the classification-lock strategy is significantly better than that without it. Our approach also succeeds in a long-term following task in an indoor multi-floor scenario.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3903
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2018


  • Human-following robot
  • Person localization
  • Robot application

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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