Low-power depth-based descending stair detection for smart assistive devices
EURASIP Journal on Image and Video Processing
Assistive technologies aim at improving personal mobility of individuals with disabilities, increasing their independence and their access to social life. They include mechanical mobility aids that are increasingly employed amongst the older people who rely on them. However, these devices might fail to prevent falls due to the under-estimation of approaching hazards. Stairs and curbs are among these potential dangers present in urban environments and living accommodations, which increase the
... ich increase the risk of an accident. We present and evaluate a low-complexity algorithm to detect descending stairs and curbs of any shape, specifically designed for low-power real-time embedded platforms. Based on a passive stereo camera, as opposed to a 3D active sensor, we assessed the detection accuracy, processing time and power consumption. Our goal being to decide on three possible situations (safe, dangerous and potentially unsafe), we achieve to distinguish more than 94 % dangers from safe scenes within a 91 % overall recognition rate at very low resolution. This is accomplished in real-time with robustness to indoor/outdoor lighting conditions. We show that our method can run for a day on a smartphone battery.