An Optimization Based Approach to Visual Odometry Using Infrared Images

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The goal of this work has been to improve the accuracy of a pre-existing algorithm for vehicle pose estimation, which uses intrinsic measurements of vehicle motion and measurements derived from far infrared images.

Estimating the pose of a vehicle, based on images from an on-board camera and intrinsic measurements of vehicle motion, is a problem of simultanoeus localization and mapping (SLAM), and it can be solved using the extended Kalman filter (EKF). The EKF is a causal filter, so if the pose estimation problem is to be solved off-line acausal methods are expected to increase estimation accuracy significantly. In this work the EKF has been compared with an acausal method for solving the SLAM problem called smoothing and mapping (SAM) which is an optimization based method that minimizes process and measurement noise.

Analyses of how improvements in the vehicle motion model, using a number of different model extensions, affects accuracy of pose estimates have also been performed.

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