Information-based view initialization in visual SLAM with a single omnidirectional camera

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 2015, 72 pp. 93 - 104
Issue Date:
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© 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. This paper presents a novel mechanism to initiate new views within the map building process for an EKF-based visual SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) approach using omnidirectional images. In presence of non-linearities, the EKF is very likely to compromise the final estimation. Particularly, the omnidirectional observation model induces non-linear errors, thus it becomes a potential source of uncertainty. To deal with this issue we propose a novel mechanism for view initialization which accounts for information gain and losses more efficiently. The main outcome of this contribution is the reduction of the map uncertainty and thus the higher consistency of the final estimation. Its basis relies on a Gaussian Process to infer an information distribution model from sensor data. This model represents feature points existence probabilities and their information content analysis leads to the proposed view initialization scheme. To demonstrate the suitability and effectiveness of the approach we present a series of real data experiments conducted with a robot equipped with a camera sensor and map model solely based on omnidirectional views. The results reveal a beneficial reduction on the uncertainty but also on the error in the pose and the map estimate.
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