Robotic applications impose hard real-time demands on their vision components. To accommodate the real-time constraints, the visual component of robotic systems are often simplified by narrowing the scope of the vision system for a particular task. Another option is to build a generalized vision (sensor) processor and provides multiple interfaces, of differing scales and content, to other modules in the robot. Both options can be implemented in many ways, depending on computational resources.
The tradeoffs among these alternatives become clear when we study the vision process as a server whose clients request information about the world. We model the interface on client-server relations in user interfaces and operating systems. We examine the relation of this model to robot and vision sensor architecture and explore its application to a variety of vision sensor implementations.
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