Dynamic Obstacle Avoidance System Based on Rapid Instance Segmentation Network

Hongmin Mu, Gang Zhang, Zhe Ma, Meng Chu Zhou, Zhengcai Cao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To assist the Partially Sighted and Visually Impaired (PSVI), a variety of Obstacle Avoidance (OA) methods have been developed. These methods mostly use depth cameras for distance measurement in terms of perception, and communicate to users through voice broadcasts. However, due to insufficient detection accuracy and slow system response, they are difficult to apply to narrow and multi-pedestrian areas. To overcome this difficulty, this work aims to develop a dynamic OA system using an improved instance segmentation network for high-precision detection. To improve the segmentation accuracy of accessible paths for PSVI users, it proposes a new 2D convolution unit that couples multi-scale receptive fields of deep features. This unit focuses on the global context of an input image by constructing a hierarchical residual-like structure. To improve the efficiency of exploration, this work adopts a bidirectional A* algorithm with safety distance constraints to plan optimal paths for PSVI users, thus avoiding their trial-and-error path finding. To ensure safety, it proposes a collision avoidance algorithm based on regional safety analysis, which can generate and transmit timely vibration response to users. Experimental results demonstrate that our developed system can help PSVI users to pass through those challenging areas safely and effectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


  • Cameras
  • Collision avoidance
  • Distance measurement
  • Feature extraction
  • indoor navigation
  • instance segmentation
  • mobility assistance
  • Obstacle avoidance
  • Real-time systems
  • Semantics
  • Task analysis


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