Exploring automated object detection methods for manholes using classical computer vision and deep learning

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Shika Rao
Nitya Mitnala

Keywords : computer vision, object detection, size detection, Convolutional Neural Networks, Vision Transformers, autonomous vehicles

Open, broken, and improperly closed manholes can pose problems for autonomous vehicles and thus need to be included in obstacle avoidance and lane-changing algorithms. In this work, we propose and compare multiple approaches for manhole localization and classification like classical computer vision, convolutional neural networks like YOLOv3 and YOLOv3-Tiny, and vision transformers like YOLOS and ViT. These are analyzed for speed, computational complexity, and accuracy in order to determine the model that can be used with autonomous vehicles. In addition, we propose a size detection pipeline using classical computer vision to determine the size of the hole in an improperly closed manhole with respect to the manhole itself. The evaluation of the data showed that convolutional neural networks are currently better for this task, but vision transformers seem promising.

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Rao, S., & Mitnala, N. (2023). Exploring automated object detection methods for manholes using classical computer vision and deep learning. Machine Graphics and Vision, 32(1), 25–53. https://doi.org/10.22630/MGV.2023.32.1.2

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