Robotics: Science and Systems VIII

Optimization-Based Estimator Design for Vision-Aided Inertial Navigation

Mingyang Li, Anastasios Mourikis


This paper focuses on the problem of real-time pose tracking using visual and inertial sensors in systems with limited processing power. Our main contribution is a novel approach to the design of estimators for these systems, which optimally utilizes the available resources. Specifically, we design a hybrid estimator that integrates two algorithms with complementary computational characteristics, namely a sliding-window EKF and EKF-SLAM. To decide which algorithm is best suited to process each of the available features at runtime, we learn the distribution of the feature number and of the lengths of the feature tracks. We show that using this information, we can predict the expected computational cost of each feature-allocation policy, and formulate an objective function whose minimization determines the optimal way to process the feature data. Our results demonstrate that the hybrid algorithm outperforms each individual method (EKF-SLAM and sliding-window EKF) by a wide margin, and allows processing the sensor data at real-time speed on the processor of a mobile phone.



    AUTHOR    = {Mingyang Li AND Anastasios Mourikis}, 
    TITLE     = {Optimization-Based Estimator Design for Vision-Aided Inertial Navigation}, 
    BOOKTITLE = {Proceedings of Robotics: Science and Systems}, 
    YEAR      = {2012}, 
    ADDRESS   = {Sydney, Australia}, 
    MONTH     = {July},
    DOI       = {10.15607/RSS.2012.VIII.031}