robotic odometry

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Massimiliano Cantarelli

Dec 13, 2014, 8:07:53 AM12/13/14
Hi all,
I would like to use this module in a robot to look the ground and to measure delta position.
The objetctive is to measure the distance travelled.
I also have in plan to use an imu board to measure the yaw angle.
Does anyone have implemented something like that with a camera?
I have seen some project on the net that uses an optical mouse sensor for position sensing but this is not good for me cause this must be close to the ground.


Michael Shimniok

Dec 13, 2014, 12:02:02 PM12/13/14
I think it is well worth researching. I would look at feature detection. the mouse sensors run low resolution an super high fps. It seems even at lower fps you could fuse with IMU. there was a meetup talk about 3d orientation with vision and IMU that I attended recently. I would love to explore this. 

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Simon Wood

Dec 13, 2014, 12:48:51 PM12/13/14
You can often change the focus on the mouse cameras to let them 'see' at a greater distance from the surface.

There were some projects mentioned on DIY drones (a great resource):

I suppose that you are not wanting to do full position tracking, but just measure ground speed. If you know your altitude (ultra-sonic?), it would be even easier to track ground points and compute changes in position. Tracking without 'cheats' or markers is probably going to be hard for OpenMV

There are some very 'serious' commercial projects. For example '13th Lab' just joined Oculus-VR, and posted this on the same day:

@Michael - I want IMU with OpenMV too. I think that we can just use a shield with MPU-6000 (or the like) via SPI. Something similar to:


Massimiliano Cantarelli

Dec 13, 2014, 3:08:05 PM12/13/14
in my case the altitude is fixed because I have a ground rover.

I can place the openmv in the middle of my rover and I can illuminate the surface with a couple of leds.

SLAM is very interesting but requires a lot of ram that openmv doesn't have, maybe the version 2 could do the job. Also I've seen SLAM implemented with the data collected from laser scanner; don't know how it works with camera.

I've tried to measure ground speed with the accelerometers on the imu but without success: too much drift...
Yaw angle seems correctly calculated; at the moment I'm working with a STM32F3 discovery board.


Steve Gulick

Dec 13, 2014, 6:55:08 PM12/13/14

For using optical flow for odometry on a hardware platform almost the same as OpenMV

see the open software/hardware project...


Massimiliano Cantarelli

Dec 14, 2014, 6:09:24 AM12/14/14
I've seen that the focusing range is from 60cm to infinite.
If I place the camera at 5cm from the ground will I see something?

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