Quadrotor pose estimation

A quadrotor is a helicopter with four propellers and 4 rotors. It is lifted by a set of revolving airfoils, those are symmetrical pitched blades. The control of the quadrotor can be achieved by a change in pitch, the rotational speed of the rotor(s)  or by the combination of both.

Quadrotors are becoming more and more popular in reconnaissance of terrains that are difficult to access. For instance disaster areas, war zones, …There is also a lot of research in areas like construction, communication,….

Nowadays for the determination of the pose(postion + orientation) of a quadrotor, many group researchers use reflective markers in combination with Vicon measurement system. This is done in an accurate and fast way. These measurements makes some complex trajectories with a quadrotor possible.

However, there is a big disadvantage of this measurement technique. The equipment is very expensive. The purpose of our thesis is to develop and to implement a less expensive motion-capture environment. Instead of the very expensive Vicon measurement system. Twelve Asus cameras can do the same work, but the accuracy is lower.

The whole project can be split in three parts, the positioning of the cameras, the calibrations of the cameras and the sensor fusion part. The positioning of the cameras in the motion capture environment is the first objective. The cameras must be positioned in such a way that the largest measuring range is met. The interference between the cameras should be as small as possible. A bigger interference between the cameras leads to an inaccurate result. The second part is the calibration of the cameras. This is needed to get accurate relative positions of the cameras.

Sensorfusion is the third part of the project. Here all the data is put together. The position of the helicopter relative to the cameras has to be determined.

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  1. visualrecognition
    26/11/2012 at 23:49

    Looks like a nice project!

  2. 27/11/2012 at 09:45

    Indeed! How does it come that there is a relative change in the position of the cameras? Because I was thinking if they are in a locked position on the quadrotor, they just move along with the movements of the copter and their position stays fixed…

    • 27/11/2012 at 20:46

      The purpose of the project is actually tracking the quadrotor, not navigating with on-board cameras.
      The quadrotor has limited carrying capacity and that capacity would preferably be used for other research equipment. Thus the cameras are mounted in the room and not on the quadrotor itself. While this set-up has a limited range, it can provide more accurate position measurements, which is the target of this research.

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