Autonomous dirt detection for cleaning in office environments
The advances of technologies for mobile robotics enable the application of robots to increasingly complex tasks. Cleaning office buildings on a daily basis is a problem that could be partially automatized with a cleaning robot that assists the cleaning professional yielding a higher cleaning capacity. A typical task in this domain is the selective cleaning, that is a focused cleaning effort to dirty spots, which speeds up the overall cleaning procedure significantly. To enable a robotic cleaner to accomplish this task, it is first necessary to distinguish dirty areas from the clean remainder. This paper discusses a vision-based dirt detection system for mobile cleaning robots that can be applied to any surface and dirt without previous training, that is fast enough to be executed on a mobile robot and which achieves high dirt recognition rates of 90% at an acceptable false positive rate of 45%. The paper also introduces a large database of real scenes which was used for the evaluation and is publicly available.