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Arren Glover

Post Doc
Vision Algorithms and Software for the Event-driven iCub Robot

Research Line

Event-Driven Perception for Robotics


IIT Central Research Labs Genova


Via Morego 30, Genova, Italy
+39 010 2898 221
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Arren received his Bachelor of Engineering (Mechatronics, Honours I) from the University of Queensland (UQ), Australia in 2008 during which he was also a junior research scholar at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). He completed his PhD from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in 2013. During this time he worked on affordance learning and sensorimotor coordination using reinforcement learning techniques and Markov decision processes. During 2014 Arren held a Post-doctoral position at QUT in which he also lectured the Roboics Team Project course. His research was focussed on visual place recognition and visual odemtry for SLAM under extreme environmental change.

Arren has been a Post-doctorial researcher at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia since September 2014 working on visual algorithms and software architectures for integration of event cameras on the iCub robot.


Robust Visual Tracking with Event Cameras

Event-driven cameras are a new technology that can enable low-latency, fast visual sensing in dynamic environments towards faster robotic vision as they respond only to changes in the scene with very high temporal resolution < 1 microsecond. Moving targets produce dense spatio-temporal streams of events that do not suffer from information loss "between frames", which can occur when traditional cameras are used to track fast-moving targets. Event-based tracking algorithms need to be able to follow the target position within the spatio-temporal data, while rejecting clutter events that occur as a robot moves in a typical office setting. We introduce a particle filter algorithm with the aim to be robust to temporal variation that occurs as the camerand the target move with different relative velocities, which can lead to a loss in visual information and missed detections. The proposed system provides a more persistent tracking compared to prior state-of-the-art, especially when the robot is actively following a target with its gaze. Experiments are performed on the iCub humanoid robot performing ball tracking and gaze following.


iCub-integrated Software Libraries for Event Cameras

The icub-event-driven libraries are open source and can be found at: The libraries include interfaces between event camera sensors and the YARP robot middleware, as well as interfaces between event-driven algorithms and behaviour control of the iCub robot. The libraries include encoding and decoding of event-packets for distributed processing across multiple machines including the robot using YARP, multiple useful data structures for managing the asynchronous event-stream, and many processing algorithms, including filters, camera undistortion, visualisaiton, auto-saccading, circle detection and tracking, cluster tracking, optical flow, and corner detection.

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OpenFABMAP is an open-source version of the state-of-the-art visual place recogntion algorithm FAB-MAP; the baseline state-of-the-art for algorithm comparison for the past five years.

Selected Publications

Glover, A., and Bartolozzi C. (2016) Event-driven ball detection and gaze fixation in clutter. In IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), October 2016, Daejeon, Korea. Finalist for RoboCup Best Paper Award

Vasco V., Glover A., and Bartolozzi C. (2016) Fast event-based harris corner detection exploiting the advantages of event-driven cameras. In IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), October 2016, Daejeon, Korea.

Glover, A., and Wyeth, G. (2016) Towards Lifelong Affordance Learning using a Distributed Markov Model. In IEEE Transactions on Cognitive and Developmental Systems.

V. Vasco, A. Glover, Y. Tirupachuri, F. Solari, M. Chessa, and Bartolozzi C. Vergence control with a neuromorphic iCub. In IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots (Humanoids), November 2016, Mexico.

Glover, Arren, Maddern, William, Milford, Michael, & Wyeth, Gordon (2010) FAB-MAP + RatSLAM : appearance-based SLAM for multiple times of day. In IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), May 2010, Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

Schulz, R., Glover, A., Milford, M., Wyeth, G., & Wiles, J. (2011) Lingodroids: Studies in Spatial Cognition and Language. In IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), May 2011, Shanghai, China,

Glover, A., Maddern, W., Warren M., Reid S., Milford M., & Wyeth, G. (2012) OpenFABMAP: An Open Source Toolbox for Appearance-based Loop Closure Detection. In IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), May 2012, St. Paul, USA.

Milford, M., Scheirer, W., Vig, E., Glover, A., Baumann, O., Mattingley J., Cox D. (2014) Condition-Invariant, Top-Down Visual Place Recognition. In: The International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Hong Kong, June 2014.

Glover, Arren (2014) Developing Grounded Representations for Robots through the Principles of Sensorimotor Coordination. Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.


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I numeri di IIT

L’Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) è una fondazione di diritto privato - cfr. determinazione Corte dei Conti 23/2015 “IIT è una fondazione da inquadrare fra gli organismi di diritto pubblico con la scelta di un modello di organizzazione di diritto privato per rispondere all’esigenza di assicurare procedure più snelle nella selezione non solo nell’ambito nazionale dei collaboratori, scienziati e ricercatori ”.

IIT è sotto la vigilanza del Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca e del Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze ed è stato istituito con la Legge 326/2003. La Fondazione ha l'obiettivo di promuovere l'eccellenza nella ricerca di base e in quella applicata e di favorire lo sviluppo del sistema economico nazionale. La costruzione dei laboratori iniziata nel 2006 si è conclusa nel 2009.

Lo staff complessivo di IIT conta circa 1440 persone. L’area scientifica è rappresentata da circa l’85% del personale. Il 45% dei ricercatori proviene dall’estero: di questi, il 29% è costituito da stranieri provenienti da oltre 50 Paesi e il 16% da italiani rientrati. Oggi il personale scientifico è composto da circa 60 principal investigators, circa 110 ricercatori e tecnologi di staff, circa 350 post doc, circa 500 studenti di dottorato e borsisti, circa 130 tecnici. Oltre 330 posti su 1400 creati su fondi esterni. Età media 34 anni. 41% donne / 59 % uomini.

Nel 2015 IIT ha ricevuto finanziamenti pubblici per circa 96 milioni di euro (80% del budget), conseguendo fondi esterni per 22 milioni di euro (20% budget) provenienti da 18 progetti europei17 finanziamenti da istituzioni nazionali e internazionali, circa 60 progetti industriali

La produzione di IIT ad oggi vanta circa 6990 pubblicazioni, oltre 130 finanziamenti Europei e 11 ERC, più di 350 domande di brevetto attive, oltre 12 start up costituite e altrettante in fase di lancio. Dal 2009 l’attività scientifica è stata ulteriormente rafforzata con la creazione di dieci centri di ricerca nel territorio nazionale (a Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) e internazionale (MIT ed Harvard negli USA) che, unitamente al Laboratorio Centrale di Genova, sviluppano i programmi di ricerca del piano scientifico 2015-2017.

IIT: the numbers

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) is a public research institute that adopts the organizational model of a private law foundation. IIT is overseen by Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca and Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze (the Italian Ministries of Education, Economy and Finance).  The Institute was set up according to Italian law 326/2003 with the objective of promoting excellence in basic and applied research andfostering Italy’s economic development. Construction of the Laboratories started in 2006 and finished in 2009.

IIT has an overall staff of about 1,440 people. The scientific staff covers about 85% of the total. Out of 45% of researchers coming from abroad 29% are foreigners coming from more than 50 countries and 16% are returned Italians. The scientific staff currently consists of approximately 60 Principal Investigators110 researchers and technologists350 post-docs and 500 PhD students and grant holders and 130 technicians. External funding has allowed the creation of more than 330 positions . The average age is 34 and the gender balance proportion  is 41% female against 59% male.

In 2015 IIT received 96 million euros in public funding (accounting for 80% of its budget) and obtained 22 million euros in external funding (accounting for 20% of its budget). External funding comes from 18 European Projects, other 17 national and international competitive projects and approximately 60 industrial projects.

So far IIT accounts for: about 6990 publications, more than 130 European grants and 11 ERC grants, more than 350 patents or patent applications12 up start-ups and as many  which are about to be launched. The Institute’s scientific activity has been further strengthened since 2009 with the establishment of 11 research nodes throughout Italy (Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) and abroad (MIT and Harvard University, USA), which, along with the Genoa-based Central Lab, implement the research programs included in the 2015-2017 Strategic Plan.