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Reflection-Aware Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (RA-SLAM)

Project Description

Reflections are ubiquitous in our environments, and are utilised by our vision system to extend the field of view to non-line of sight scenes and objects. An example is the use of convex rear view mirrors on cars. Visual reflections, although provide only ‘subtle’ information, bring flexibility to our visual perception of the environment. However, such information has not been utilized in computer vision systems. Simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) is an established technique to model the environment and estimate the motion. But even the state-of-the-art visual SLAM solutions are based on the assumption that the scenes captured are real and direct, without consideration of those ‘virtual’ images resulted from reflections. It is an interesting question whether and how reflections can be used to improve the flexibility and robustness of current SLAM solutions. The answer to it will find important applications in robot navigation, various autonomous systems, etc.
This project will take a step forward to answer this question by considering planar and mirror reflections in indoor SLAM, and aims to understand the influence of visual reflections in current SLAM solutions, and develop a reflection-aware SLAM solution for more flexible and robust environment modelling and motion estimation. To achieve the aim, several key aspects will be researched within the 3 year duration of the project, as outlined below.

1. Analysing how different types of visual SLAM solutions react to mirror reflections, with the aid of a Kuka mobile robot for data collection.
2. Exploration of different approaches to detect and localize mirror planes, and integrating the solution into current SLAM systems.
3. Developing algorithms for 3D localization and mapping from detected reflections.
4. Evaluating the performance of the developed reflection-aware SLAM both in simulation and in real-world with the aid of a Kuka mobile robot.

Funding Notes

Full UK/EU tuition fees plus doctoral stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum, are open to all students of any nationality without restrictions (UK/EU and International). Overseas students must fund the difference between the tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and the overseas rate.

Applicants must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First Class or Upper Second Class degree or Master’s degree in a relevant discipline.


Apply for the PhD in Computer Science and Informatics with an October 2019 start date by the deadline of 23 April 2019.

Applications must be made online at:

Related Subjects

How good is research at Cardiff University in Computer Science and Informatics?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 13.73

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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