Multi-view Reconstruction of Wires using a Catenary Model

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“Multi-view Reconstruction of Wires using a Catenary Model” by R. Madaan, M. Kaess, and S. Scherer. In Proc. IEEE Intl. Conf. on Robotics and Automation, ICRA, (Montreal, Canada), May 2019, pp. 5657-5664.


Reliable detection and reconstruction of wires is one of the hardest problems in the UAV community, with a wide ranging impact in the industry in terms of wire avoidance capabilities and powerline corridor inspection. In this work, we introduce a real-time, model-based, multi-view algorithm to reconstruct wires from a set of images with known camera poses, while exploiting their natural shape -- the catenary curve. Using a model-based approach helps us deal with partial wire detections in images, which may occur due to natural occlusion and false negatives. In addition, using a parsimonious model makes our algorithm efficient as we only need to optimize for 5 model parameters, as opposed to hundreds of 3D points in bundle-adjustment approaches. Our algorithm obviates the need for pixel correspondences by computing the reprojection error via the distance transform of binarized wire segmentation images. Further, we make our algorithm robust to arbitrary initializations by introducing an on-demand, approximate extrapolation of the distance transform based objective. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our algorithm against false negatives and random initializations in simulation, and show qualitative results with real data collected from a small UAV.

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BibTeX entry:

   author = {R. Madaan and M. Kaess and S. Scherer},
   title = {Multi-view Reconstruction of Wires using a Catenary Model},
   booktitle = {Proc. IEEE Intl. Conf. on Robotics and Automation, ICRA},
   pages = {5657-5664},
   address = {Montreal, Canada},
   month = may,
   year = {2019}
Last updated: March 21, 2023