Color-accurate underwater imaging using perceptual adaptive illumination

Iuliu Vasilescu, Carrick Detweiler, Daniela Rus

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Capturing color in water is challenging due to the heavy non-uniform attenuation of light in water across the visible spectrum, which results in dramatic hue shifts toward blue. Yet observing color in water is important for monitoring and surveillance as well as marine biology studies related to species identification, individual and group behavior, and ecosystem health and activity monitoring. Underwater robots are equipped with motor control for large scale transects but they lack sensors that enable capturing color-accurate underwater images. We present a method for color-accurate imaging in water called perceptual adaptive illumination. This method dynamically mixes the illumination of an object in a distance-dependent way using a controllable multi-color light source. The color mix compensates correctly for color loss and results in an image whose color composition is equivalent to rendering the object in air. Experiments were conducted with a color palette in the pool and at three different coral reefs sites, and with an underwater robot collecting image data with the new sensor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRobotics
Subtitle of host publicationScience and Systems VI
EditorsHugh Durrant-Whyte, Yoky Matsuoka, Jose Neira
PublisherMIT Press Journals
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9780262516815
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Robotics Science and Systems, RSS 2010 - Zaragoza, Spain
Duration: Jun 27 2010Jun 30 2010

Publication series

NameRobotics: Science and Systems
ISSN (Electronic)2330-765X


ConferenceInternational Conference on Robotics Science and Systems, RSS 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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