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A TSR Visual Servoing System Based on a Novel Dynamic Template Matching Method

1,2, 1,2,*, 1,2 and 1,2
National Key Laboratory of Aerospace Flight Dynamics, Northwestern Polytechnical University, 710072 Xi’an, China
Research Center for Intelligent Robotics, School of Astronautics, Northwestern Polytechnical University, 710072 Xi’an, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This paper is an extended version of the paper entitled “Novel Dynamic Template Matching of Visual Servoing for Tethered Space Robot” presented at ICIST, 2014, Shenzhen, China, 26–28 April 2014.
Academic Editors: Lianqing Liu, Ning Xi, Wen Jung Li, Xin Zhao and Yajing Shen
Sensors 2015, 15(12), 32152-32167;
Received: 28 October 2015 / Revised: 7 December 2015 / Accepted: 10 December 2015 / Published: 21 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Robots)
PDF [5381 KB, uploaded 21 December 2015]


The so-called Tethered Space Robot (TSR) is a novel active space debris removal system. To solve its problem of non-cooperative target recognition during short-distance rendezvous events, this paper presents a framework for a real-time visual servoing system using non-calibrated monocular-CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor). When a small template is used for matching with a large scene, it always leads to mismatches, so a novel template matching algorithm to solve the problem is presented. Firstly, the novel matching algorithm uses a hollow annulus structure according to a FAST (Features from Accelerated Segment) algorithm and makes the method be rotation-invariant. Furthermore, the accumulative deviation can be decreased by the hollow structure. The matching function is composed of grey and gradient differences between template and object image, which help it reduce the effects of illumination and noises. Then, a dynamic template update strategy is designed to avoid tracking failures brought about by wrong matching or occlusion. Finally, the system synthesizes the least square integrated predictor, realizing tracking online in complex circumstances. The results of ground experiments show that the proposed algorithm can decrease the need for sophisticated computation and improves matching accuracy. View Full-Text
Keywords: Tethered Space Robot; object recognition; template matching; visual servoing; target tracking Tethered Space Robot; object recognition; template matching; visual servoing; target tracking

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Cai, J.; Huang, P.; Zhang, B.; Wang, D. A TSR Visual Servoing System Based on a Novel Dynamic Template Matching Method. Sensors 2015, 15, 32152-32167.

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