Grid-Based Spatial Keypoint Selection for Real Time Visual Odometry

Authors Volker Nannen | Gabriel Oliver Codina
In 2nd International Conference on Pattern Recognition Applications and Methods, Barcelona, pp. 586-589, 2013.


Robotic systems can achieve real-time visual odometry by extracting a fixed number of invariant keypoints from the current camera frame, matching them against keypoints from a previous frame, and calculating camera motion from matching pairs. If keypoints are selected by response only they can become concentrated in a small image region. This decreases the chance for keypoints to match between images and increases the chance for a degenerate set of matching keypoints.
Here we present and evaluate a simple grid-based method that forces extracted keypoints to follow an even spatial distribution. The benefits of this approach depend on image quality. Real world trials with low quality images show that the method can extend the length of a correctly estimated path by an order of magnitude. In laboratory trials with images of higher quality we observe that the quality of motion estimates can degrade significantly, in particular if the number of extracted keypoints is low. This negative effect can be minimized by using a large number of grid cells.

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