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JFR - Special Issue

Journal of Field Robotics

Special Issue on Visual Mapping and Navigation Outdoors

Guest editors:

  • Cyrill Stachniss, University of Freiburg
  • Stefan Williams, Australian Centre for Field Robotics
  • Josť Neira, University of Zaragoza

Mapping and navigation, the successful modeling and traversal of unknown environments using vehicles equipped with sensors, has been an extremely active research area in robotics. Recently, researchers have reported impressive results in this area, to the point that building 2D maps of indoor planar environments using laser sensors is considered a solved problem. For this reason, research has moved to addressing larger, non planar, less-structured and dynamic outdoor environments. Information rich visual sensors are being incorporated into these new systems because cameras have become inexpensive, light weight, and offer high performance in resolution and speed. Visual sensors offer much more detailed environmental information, but pose new challenges such as robust feature detection and tracking, data association, and 3D computation. Also, computationally efficient large-scale estimation is much harder using cameras than using a laser scanner.

The goal of the special issue of the Journal of Field Robotics is to publish outstanding results on the use of visual sensors for mapping and navigation in challenging outdoor environments: urban, suburban, off-road, underwater, and airborne, in applications that include but are not limited to surveying, virtual and augmented reality, surveillance and search and rescue operations. This call for papers follows a very successful workshop on Visual Mapping and Navigation Outdoors at ICRA 2009.

List of topics

  • Bearing only/monocular systems, multi-camera systems, mapping with omni-directional cameras, active/passive cameras
  • Vision + other sensors
  • Environment representations: metric, topological, semantic, hybrid
  • Visual loop closing techniques
  • Place recognition
  • Large scale visual navigation and mapping
  • Urban, suburban and off-road mapping
  • Underwater applications
  • Airborne navigation and mapping

Important dates

  • September 1, 2009 - Submission of manuscripts; Deadline extended to October 1, 2009
  • December 1, 2009 - Reviews sent to the authors
  • March 1, 2010 - Final manuscripts due for publication


For comments, suggestions, or requests, please send email to Cyrill Stachniss, Stefan Williams, or Jose Neira.