Homography-Based Positioning and Planar Motion Recovery

University dissertation from Lund University

Abstract: Planar motion is an important and frequently occurring situation in mobile robotics applications. This thesis concerns estimation of ego-motion and pose of a single downwards oriented camera under the assumptions of planar motion and known internal camera parameters. The so called essential matrix (or its uncalibrated counterpart, the fundamental matrix) is frequently used in computer vision applications to compute a reconstruction in 3D of the camera locations and the observed scene. However, if the observed points are expected to lie on a plane - e.g. the ground plane - this makes the determination of these matrices an ill-posed problem. Instead, methods based on homographies are better suited to this situation.One section of this thesis is concerned with the extraction of the camera pose and ego-motion from such homographies. We present both a direct SVD-based method and an iterative method, which both solve this problem. The iterative method is extended to allow simultaneous determination of the camera tilt from several homographies obeying the same planar motion model. This extension improves the robustness of the original method, and it provides consistent tilt estimates for the frames that are used for the estimation. The methods are evaluated using experiments on both real and synthetic data.Another part of the thesis deals with the problem of computing the homographies from point correspondences. By using conventional homography estimation methods for this, the resulting homography is of a too general class and is not guaranteed to be compatible with the planar motion assumption. For this reason, we enforce the planar motion model at the homography estimation stage with the help of a new homography solver using a number of polynomial constraints on the entries of the homography matrix. In addition to giving a homography of the right type, this method uses only \num{2.5} point correspondences instead of the conventional four, which is good \eg{} when used in a RANSAC framework for outlier removal.