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Robot Photographer Has Eye for Aesthetics

The AutoPhoto system deployed on a Clearpath Jackal robot.

In its most immediate application, AutoPhoto could be used to photograph interiors of houses and rental properties.

Credit: Hadi AlZayer, Hubert Lin, Kavita Bala

Cornell University researchers have developed a robotic photography system that can automatically rove an indoor space and shoot aesthetically appealing photos.

The researchers said AutoPhoto employs a learned aesthetic machine learning (ML) model, and trailblazes new computer vision and autonomous photography applications by integrating current ML models with customized deep learning models.

The system is based on a learned aesthetic estimation model trained on over 1 million human-ranked photos.

Cornell's Hubert Lin said, "To guide the robot, we trained a separate model to move around in an environment and find a place that looks good."

After scanning dozens of three-dimensional photos of indoor scenes and correctly selecting the best compositional angles, AutoPhoto explored a common space on a Clearpath Jackal robot; the team said the system roamed the space and shot three quality photos in a few minutes.

From Cornell Chronicle
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