RGB-D image-based detection of stairs, pedestrian crosswalks and traffic signs

Shuihua Wang, Hangrong Pan, Chenyang Zhang, Yingli Tian*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Citations (Scopus)


A computer vision-based wayfinding and navigation aid can improve the mobility of blind and visually impaired people to travel independently. In this paper, we develop a new framework to detect and recognize stairs, pedestrian crosswalks, and traffic signals based on RGB-D (Red, Green, Blue, and Depth) images. Since both stairs and pedestrian crosswalks are featured by a group of parallel lines, we first apply Hough transform to extract the concurrent parallel lines based on the RGB (Red, Green, and Blue) channels. Then, the Depth channel is employed to recognize pedestrian crosswalks and stairs. The detected stairs are further identified as stairs going up (upstairs) and stairs going down (downstairs). The distance between the camera and stairs is also estimated for blind users. Furthermore, the traffic signs of pedestrian crosswalks are recognized. The detection and recognition results on our collected datasets demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of our proposed framework.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-272
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Visual Communication and Image Representation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Blind
  • Computer vision
  • Object recognition
  • Portable assistance
  • RGB-D camera
  • Scene recognition
  • Visually impaired
  • Wayfinding and navigation


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