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First try to think about the sensor you are using, are u using a camera? a kinect? a LIDAR. From your question I assume you are using a camera. In this case, you can either approach the problem by using a marker detection algorithm (visp_auto_tracker is a marker detection and not the only one) or a shape detection algorithm (i.e. find_object_2d). I would recommend using a marker detection since it should me more robust, the robustness of the shape detection is highly dependent on features of what u need to detect ... if you want to switch to 3D shape detection, of course in case of using 3D sensors like kinect, tilting LIDAR, velodyne, etc, you can use pcl library and the tools that you find there, having something that works in realtime might be tricky though