Omnidirectional Visual Odometry (completed in 2004)
Motion estimation (visual odometry) using optic flow in an omnidirectional camera using the cathadioptric lens projection model (e.g. see C. Geyer and K. Daniilidis, 2002.) and transforming the flow on a unit sphere around the center of projection. As a result a visual IMU (intertial measurement unit) was developed that provides raw rotation and direction of translation changes. When operated indoors at low turning rates (up to 30 deg/s) the IMU showed essentially no drift and accuracy < 2 deg in yaw and <10 deg in pitch and roll over 10 trials of tracing the yaw-pitch-roll domain ([0,360],[-90,90],[-90,90]). Click on the image for a real-time video of an indoor test using raw, unfiltered data (the camera is rotated a couple of times followed by translations). See the references listed below for more info on the implementation.
Spiderbot (completed in 2004)
The next generation of NASA JPL’s Micro-Robot Explorer. The hexapod chassis was designed and built by Bluesky Robotics. At JPL (summer/fall 2004) we equipped the robot with an onboard wireless camera for manipulation and created a mini construction site with an overhead camera for localization. Various vision-based estimation, motion planning, and control methods were developed to enabled the robot to perform very primitive but entirely autonomous navigation and construction of simple structures.