The Oceanic Machine Vision Group focusses on underwater computer vision research, to facilitate measuring, mapping and monitoring in the oceans and next generation robotic applications. The majority of Earth's surface is covered by several kilometers of water and due to difficult visibility conditions underwater cameras have to come close to the seafloor to see it. Because of the hostile conditions of extremely high pressure, cold temperatures and no light, we have to send camera-equipped robots like remotely operated vehicles (ROV) or autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) to photograph the seafloor. Consequently, probably far more than half of the Earth's surface have not been seen by any human and have not been photographed.
Our goals are to improve geometric and radiometric machine vision and to enable in particular AUVs to use cameras as measurement and navigation devices. Currently, underwater vision suffers from refraction, scattering and attenuation as well as bad visibility conditions and very limited localization (no GPS). We support the use of cameras in ocean sciences for measurement, mapping and monitoring campaigns and develop techniques and tools for calibration, photogrammetry and simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM).
This group is funded through the Emmy Noether Programme of the German Research Foundation.