Disney Research


Parallel Detection of Conversational Groups of Free-Standing People and Tracking of their Lower-Body Orientation-Image

Appropriate robot behavior in public, open spaces cannot occur without the ability to automatically detect conversational groups of free-standing people. To this end, we propose an alternating optimization procedure that estimates lower body orientations and detects groups of interacting people. The first task is achieved by tracking the direction of the lower body of the people in the scene based on their position, their head orientation, the location of objects of interest in their vicinity, and their groups. For the second task, we propose a new group detection algorithm based on F-formation detection. This method can reason about lower body orientation distributions and generates soft group assignments for the orientation trackers. We evaluate the proposed approach on a publicly available dataset and show that it can improve state-of-the-art detection of non-interacting people without sacrificing group detection accuracy. This is particularly useful for robots since it provides more opportunities for starting interactions and can help estimate disengagement.

Copyright Notice

The documents contained in these directories are included by the contributing authors as a means to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work on a non-commercial basis. Copyright and all rights therein are maintained by the authors or by other copyright holders, notwithstanding that they have offered their works here electronically. It is understood that all persons copying this information will adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author’s copyright. These works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.