Visual Odometry for Autonomous MAV with On-Board Processing

University essay from KTH/Skolan för datavetenskap och kommunikation (CSC)

Author: Jacob Greenberg; [2015]

Keywords: MAV; Visual Odometry; AICK;

Abstract: A new visual registration algorithm (Adaptive Iterative Closest Keypoint, AICK) is tested and evaluated as a positioning tool on a Micro Aerial Vehicle (MAV). Captured frames from a Kinect like RGB-D camera are analyzed and an estimated position of the MAV is extracted. The hope is to find a positioning solution for GPS-denied environments. This thesis is focused on an indoor office environment. The MAV is flown manually, capturing in-flight RGB-D images which are registered with the AICK algorithm. The result is analyzed to come to a conclusion if AICK is viable or not for autonomous flight based on on-board positioning estimates. The result shows potential for a working autonomous MAV in GPS-denied environments, however there are some surroundings that have proven difficult. The lack of visual features on e.g., a white wall causes problems and uncertainties in the positioning, which is even more troublesome when the distance to the surroundings exceed the RGB-D cameras depth range. With further work on these weaknesses we believe that a robust autonomous MAV using AICK for positioning is plausible.

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