Visual Odometry Using Commodity Optical Flow

Jason Campbell, Rahul Sukthankar, and Illah Nourbakhsh

A wide variety of techniques for visual navigation using robot-mounted cameras have been described over the past several decades, yet adoption of optical flow navigation techniques has been slow. This demo illustrates what visual navigation has to offer: robust hazard detection (including precipices and obstacles), high-accuracy open-loop odometry, and stable closed-loop motion control implemented via an optical flow based visual odometry system. This work is based on (1) open source vision code, (2) common computing hardware, and (3) inexpensive, consumer-quality cameras, and as such should be accessible to many robot builders.

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