Talk by Dr. G. Martinez awarded as best IEEE iCASAT 2019 oral presentation

The talk gave by Dr. G. Martinez entitled "Extending the Measurement Error Model of a Direct Visual Odometry Algorithm to Improve its Accuracy for Planetary Rover Navigation" was awarded as the best oral presentation of the IEEE International Conference on Applied Science and Advanced Technology (IEEE iSACAT 2019), held in Queretaro, Mexico,  from November 27 to 29, 2019.




In this paper, the accuracy of a direct monocular visual odometry algorithm is improved. The algorithm is able to determine the position and orientation of a robot directly from intensity differences measured at observation points between consecutive images, captured by a monocular camera, rigidly attached to one side of its structure, tilted downwards. The improvement was achieved by extending the stochastic model of the intensity-difference measurement error, from considering only the camera noise, to one that also considers the intensity-difference measurement error due to the 3D shape error between the assumed and the true planetary surface shape. The corresponding covariance matrix was incorporated into a Maximum Likelihood estimator. According to the experimental results on irregular surfaces, where the 3D shape error is usually large, the accuracy of the visual odometry algorithm improved by a factor of 2 but with the cost of increasing the processing time also by the same factor.