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Sensors 2016, 16(2), 217; doi:10.3390/s16020217

Design and Analysis of a Single—Camera Omnistereo Sensor for Quadrotor Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs)

1
Deptartment of Computer Science, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York (CUNY), 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016, USA
2
Electrical Engineering Department, The City College, City University of New York (CUNY City College), Convent Ave & 140th Street, New York, NY 10031, USA
3
Automation Department, Nanjing University of Science and Technology (NUST), Nanjing 210094, China
This paper is an extended version of our paper published in Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Industrial Electronics and Applications (ICIEA). Jaramillo, C.; Guo, L.; Xiao, J. A Single-Camera Omni-Stereo Vision System for 3D Perception of Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs), Melbourne, Australia, 19–21 June 2013; Volume 10016.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 November 2015 / Accepted: 29 January 2016 / Published: 6 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Robots)

Abstract

We describe the design and 3D sensing performance of an omnidirectional stereo (omnistereo) vision system applied to Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs). The proposed omnistereo sensor employs a monocular camera that is co-axially aligned with a pair of hyperboloidal mirrors (a vertically-folded catadioptric configuration). We show that this arrangement provides a compact solution for omnidirectional 3D perception while mounted on top of propeller-based MAVs (not capable of large payloads). The theoretical single viewpoint (SVP) constraint helps us derive analytical solutions for the sensor’s projective geometry and generate SVP-compliant panoramic images to compute 3D information from stereo correspondences (in a truly synchronous fashion). We perform an extensive analysis on various system characteristics such as its size, catadioptric spatial resolution, field-of-view. In addition, we pose a probabilistic model for the uncertainty estimation of 3D information from triangulation of back-projected rays. We validate the projection error of the design using both synthetic and real-life images against ground-truth data. Qualitatively, we show 3D point clouds (dense and sparse) resulting out of a single image captured from a real-life experiment. We expect the reproducibility of our sensor as its model parameters can be optimized to satisfy other catadioptric-based omnistereo vision under different circumstances. View Full-Text
Keywords: catadioptrics; omnistereo; 3D perception; Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs) catadioptrics; omnistereo; 3D perception; Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs)
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Jaramillo, C.; Valenti, R.G.; Guo, L.; Xiao, J. Design and Analysis of a Single—Camera Omnistereo Sensor for Quadrotor Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs). Sensors 2016, 16, 217.

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