Practical visual odometry for small embedded systems

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Schaerer, Shawn S.
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Localization and mapping are important abilities for any robot to have if it wants to navigate intelligently in the real world. The goal of the research designed in this thesis was to develop a practical embedded visual odometer that utilized common features found in real world environments. The visual odometer is a system that measures the self motion of a mobile robot using visual feeback. The developed visual odometer was tested on a custom mobile robot in several different tests that were derived from the robotic soccer domain. This system’s performance was compared to two other systems. These systems were a KLT feature tracker based robot and a commercial shaft encoder based robot. The results of the completed tests showed that the developed visual odometer’s performance was less than expected. It also showed that this system has good potential. As well, the test results showed the limitations of using a KLT feature tracker based robot and that the commercial shaft encoder based robot also had performance less than expected.
Computer Vision, Robotics