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On-board velocity estimation and closed-loop control of a quadrotor UAV based on optical flow

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons83942

Grabe,  V
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons83839

Bülthoff,  HH
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84174

Robuffo Giordano,  P
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Grabe, V., Bülthoff, H., & Robuffo Giordano, P. (2012). On-board velocity estimation and closed-loop control of a quadrotor UAV based on optical flow. In IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2012) (pp. 491-497). Piscataway, NJ, USA: IEEE.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-B786-2
Abstract
Robot vision became a field of increasing importance in micro aerial vehicle robotics with the availability of small and light hardware. While most approaches rely on external ground stations because of the need of high computational power, we will present a full autonomous setup using only on-board hardware. Our work is based on the continuous homography constraint to recover ego-motion from optical flow. Thus we are able to provide an efficient fall back routine for any kind of UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) since we rely solely on a monocular camera and on on-board computation. In particular, we devised two variants of the classical continuous 4-point algorithm and provided an extensive experimental evaluation against a known ground truth. The results show that our approach is able to recover the ego-motion of a flying UAV in realistic conditions and by only relying on the limited on-board computational power. Furthermore, we exploited the velocity estimation for closing the loop and controlling the motion of the UAV online.