Real-Time Tripwire Detection on a Robotic Testbed

James M. Keller*, Marjorie Skubic, Paul D. Gader, Tsaipei Wang, Robert Luke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Detection of tripwires is an active area of investigation. Researchers at the University of Missouri and the University of Florida are jointly pursuing numerous approaches to detect both the trip wires and the mines to which they are connected. Utilization of robotic vehicles capable of performing this task is one of the goals of this project. In this paper, we discuss issues related to the embedding of current versions of our tripwire detection algorithms into a small and inexpensive robot testbed for real-time experimentation. The robot is based on a simple remote-controlled truck where the remote control unit has been replaced by a standard microcontroller. Sensors are added to assist navigation tasks, handled by the microcontroller, and the tripwire detection algorithms are implemented on a laptop PC with video input. There are several sophisticated algorithms that are being investigated for robust tripwire detection. The current detection algorithm that has been pruned down to run in real-time on the robotic platform consists of a Hough transform to find candidate lines followed by post-processing to score the candidate lines for the likelihood that they correspond to a trip wire. Upon detection, the robot is given a command to stop. Results of several experiments both indoors and outside in a variety of settings are described and analyzed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1287-1297
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - 26 Nov 2003
EventPROCEEDINGS OF SPIE SPIE -The International Society for Optical Engineering: Detection and Remediation Technologies for Mines and Minelike Targets VIII - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: 21 Apr 200325 Apr 2003


  • Hough transform
  • Real-time processing
  • Robotic testbed
  • Tripwire detection

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