In the last few years, we have witnessed impres-sive demonstrations of aggressive flights and acrobatics using quadrotors. However, those robots are actually blind. They do not see by themselves, but through the “eyes” of an external motion capture system. Flight maneuvers using onboard sensors are still slow compared to those attainable with motion capture systems. At the current state, the agility of a robot is limited by the latency of its perception pipeline. To obtain more agile robots, we need to use faster sensors. In this paper, we present the first onboard perception system for 6-DOF localization during high-speed maneuvers using a Dynamic Vision Sensor (DVS). Unlike a standard CMOS camera, a DVS does not wastefully send full image frames at a fixed frame rate. Conversely, similar to the human eye, it only transmits pixel-level brightness changes at the time they occur with microsecond resolution, thus, offering the possibility to create a perception pipeline whose latency is negligible compared to the dynamics of the robot. We exploit these characteristics to estimate the pose of a quadrotor with respect to a known pattern during high-speed maneuvers, such as flips, with rotational speeds up to 1,200◦/s. Additionally, we provide a versatile method to capture ground-truth data using a DVS.
- Detailed record: https://infoscience.epfl.ch/record/202751?ln=en