N. Nourani-Vatani, P. V.K. Borges, J. Roberts
Australasian Conference of Robotics and Automation, Wellington, New Zealand
Sparse optical flow algorithms, such as the Lucas-Kanade approach, provide more robustness to noise than dense optical flow algorithms and are the preferred approach in many scenarios. Sparse optical flow algorithms estimate the displacement for a selected number of pixels in the image. These pixels can be chosen randomly. However, pixels in regions with more variance between the neighbors will produce more reliable displacement estimates. The selected pixel locations should therefore be chosen wisely. In this study, the suitability of Harris corners, Shi-Tomasi’s “Good features to track”, SIFT and SURF interest point extractors, Canny edges, and random pixel selection for the purpose of frame-by-frame tracking using a pyramidical Lucas-Kanade algorithm is investigated. The evaluation considers the important factors of processing time, feature count, and feature trackability in indoor and outdoor scenarios using ground vehicles and unmanned areal vehicles, and for the purpose of visual odometry estimation.