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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 769149, 12 pages
Research Article

Real-Time Terrain Storage Generation from Multiple Sensors towards Mobile Robot Operation Interface

1College of Information Engineering, North China University of Technology, Beijing 100144, China
2Department of Multimedia Engineering, Dongguk University, Seoul 100-715, Republic of Korea

Received 5 April 2014; Accepted 8 June 2014; Published 2 July 2014

Academic Editor: Young-Sik Jeong

Copyright © 2014 Wei Song et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A mobile robot mounted with multiple sensors is used to rapidly collect 3D point clouds and video images so as to allow accurate terrain modeling. In this study, we develop a real-time terrain storage generation and representation system including a nonground point database (PDB), ground mesh database (MDB), and texture database (TDB). A voxel-based flag map is proposed for incrementally registering large-scale point clouds in a terrain model in real time. We quantize the 3D point clouds into 3D grids of the flag map as a comparative table in order to remove the redundant points. We integrate the large-scale 3D point clouds into a nonground PDB and a node-based terrain mesh using the CPU. Subsequently, we program a graphics processing unit (GPU) to generate the TDB by mapping the triangles in the terrain mesh onto the captured video images. Finally, we produce a nonground voxel map and a ground textured mesh as a terrain reconstruction result. Our proposed methods were tested in an outdoor environment. Our results show that the proposed system was able to rapidly generate terrain storage and provide high resolution terrain representation for mobile mapping services and a graphical user interface between remote operators and mobile robots.