A novel robust method for surface tracking in range-image sequences is presented which combines a clustering method based on surface models with a particle-filter-based 2-D affine-motion estimator. Segmented regions obtained at previous time steps are used to create seed areas by comparing measured depth values with those obtained from surface-model fitting. The seed areas are further refined using a motion-probability region estimated by the particle-filter-based tracker through prediction of future states. This helps resolving ambiguities that arise when surfaces belonging to different objects are in physical contact with each other, for example during hand-object manipulations. Region growing allows recovering the complete segment area. The obtained segmented regions are then used to improve the predictions of the tracker for the next frame. The algorithm runs in quasi real-time and uses on-line learning, eliminating the need to have a priori knowledge about the surface being tracked. We apply the method to in-house depth videos acquired with both time-of-flight and structured-light sensors, demonstrating object tracking in real-world scenarios, and we compare the results with those of an ICP-based tracker.


computer vision, pattern recognition.

Author keywords

Range video, Surface fitting, Tracking, Segmentation

Scientific reference

F. Husain, B. Dellen and C. Torras. Robust surface tracking in range image sequences. Digital Signal Processing, 35: 37-44, 2014.