Towards Robust Multi Camera Visual Inertial Odometry

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“Towards Robust Multi Camera Visual Inertial Odometry” by J. Jaekel. Masters thesis, Carnegie Mellon University, July 2020. CMU-RI-TR-20-24.


Visual inertial odometry has become an increasingly popular method of obtaining a state estimate on board smaller robots like micro aerial vehicles (MAVs). While VIO has demonstrated impressive results in certain environments, there is still work to be done in improving the robustness of these algorithms. In this work we present a novel multi-camera VIO framework which aims to improve the robustness of a robotâs state estimate during aggressive motion and in visually challenging environments. Our system uses a fixed-lag smoother which jointly optimizes for poses and landmarks across all stereo pairs. We propose a 1-point RANdom SAmple Consensus (RANSAC) algorithm which is able to perform outlier rejection across features from multiple cameras. To handle the problem of noisy extrinsics, we account for uncertainty in the calibration of each stereo pair and model it in both our front-end and back-end. The result is a VIO system which is able to maintain an accurate state estimate under conditions that have typically proven to be challenging for traditional state-of-the-art VIO systems. We demonstrate the benefits of our proposed multi-stereo algorithm by evaluating it with both simulated and real world data. We show that our proposed algorithm is able to maintain a state estimate in scenarios where traditional VIO algorithms fail.

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BibTeX entry:

   author = {J. Jaekel},
   title = {Towards Robust Multi Camera Visual Inertial Odometry},
   school = {Carnegie Mellon University},
   month = jul,
   year = {2020},
   note = {CMU-RI-TR-20-24}
Last updated: March 26, 2021