At the current state of the art, the agility of an autonomous flying robot is limited by its sensing pipeline, because the relatively high latency and low sampling frequency limit the aggressiveness of the control strategies that can be implemented. To obtain more agile robots, we need faster sensing pipelines. A Dynamic Vision Sensor (DVS) is a very different sensor than a normal CMOS camera: rather than providing discrete frames like a CMOS camera, the sensor output is a sequence of asynchronous timestamped events each describing a change in the perceived brightness at a single pixel. The latency of such sensors can be measured in the microseconds, thus offering the theoretical possibility of creating a sensing pipeline whose latency is negligible compared to the dynamics of the platform. However, to use these sensors we must rethink the way we interpret visual data. This paper presents a method for low-latency pose tracking using a DVS and Active Led Markers (ALMs), which are LEDs blinking at high frequency (>1 KHz). The sensor’s time resolution allows distinguishing different frequencies, thus avoiding the need for data association. This approach is compared to traditional pose tracking based on a CMOS camera. The DVS performance is not affected by fast motion, unlike the CMOS camera, which suffers from motion blur.
- Detailed record: https://infoscience.epfl.ch/record/199732?ln=en