Flying robots require a combination of accuracy and low latency in their state estimation in order to achieve stable and robust flight. However, due to the power and payload constraints of aerial platforms, state estimation algorithms must provide these qualities under the computational constraints of embedded hardware. Cameras and inertial measurement units (IMUs) satisfy these power and payload constraints, so visual- inertial odometry (VIO) algorithms are popular choices for state estimation in these scenarios, in addition to their ability to operate without external localization from motion capture or global positioning systems. It is not clear from existing results in the literature, however, which VIO algorithms perform well under the accuracy, latency, and computational constraints of a flying robot with onboard state estimation. This paper evaluates an array of publicly-available VIO pipelines (MSCKF, OKVIS, ROVIO, VINS-Mono, SVO+MSF, and SVO+GTSAM) on different hardware configurations, including several single- board computer systems that are typically found on flying robots. The evaluation considers the pose estimation accuracy, per-frame processing time, and CPU and memory load while processing the EuRoC datasets, which contain six degree of freedom (6DoF) trajectories typical of flying robots. We present our complete results as a benchmark for the research community.
- Published in: IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)
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- Date: 2018