Visual Odometry for a Hopping Rover on an Asteroid Surface using Multiple Monocular Cameras

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Visual odometry refers to the use of images to estimate the motion of a mobile robot. Real-time systems have already been demonstrated for terrestrial robotic vehicles, while a near real-time system has been successfully used on the Mars Exploration Rovers for planetary exploration. In this paper, we adapt this method to estimate the motion of a hopping rover on an asteroid surface. Due to the limited stereo depth resolution and the continuous rotational motion on a hopping rover, we propose to use a system of multiple monocular cameras. We describe how the scale of the scene observed by different cameras without overlapping views can be transferred between the cameras, allowing us to reconstruct a single continuous trajectory from multiple image sequences. We describe the implementation of our algorithm and its performance under simulation using rendered images.


Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Space and Astronautical Science, Graduate University for Advanced Studies, 3-1-1 Yoshinodai, Chuo-ku, Sagamihara-shi, Kanagawa-ken 252-5210, Japan;, Email: 2: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, 3-1-1 Yoshinodai, Chuo-ku, Sagamihara-shi, Kanagawa-ken 252-5210, Japan

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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