ICRA 2011 Paper Abstract


Paper WeA201.2

Watman, Daniel (The University of Tokyo), Murayama, Hideaki (The University of Tokyo)

Design of a Miniature, Multi-Directional Optical Flow Sensor for Micro Aerial Vehicles

Scheduled for presentation during the Regular Sessions "Aerial Robotics IV" (WeA201), Wednesday, May 11, 2011, 10:20−10:35, Room 3B

2011 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May 9-13, 2011, Shanghai International Conference Center, Shanghai, China

This information is tentative and subject to change. Compiled on July 14, 2020

Keywords Aerial Robotics, Visual Navigation, Computer Vision for Robotics and Automation


As Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs) become smaller, the correspondingly smaller payload capacity greatly limits the type and number of sensors which can be carried. Biologically inspired visual sensors based on optical flow show great promise due to the small size of the image sensors needed to capture visual data, but the high computational cost is a limiting factor. Current optical flow sensors are either small with very low resolution, or high resolution with large computing requirements, making them unsuitable for the primary sensor for MAVs.

This paper presents an optical flow sensor specifically designed for the needs of MAVs, combining very small size with adequate resolution and the capability of processing many image sensors in a single FPGA. Initial results indicate that performance is sufficient for MAVs, and optical flow calculations can be performed in real-time with image sensors operating at 320x240 resolution at up to 120 FPS. FPGA resource usage estimates indicate that a 15x15 mm FPGA can calculate 2D optical flow for up to 11 image sensors simultaneously.



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