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Extended Kalman filters (EKF) have been proposed to estimate ego-motion and to recursively update scene structure in the form of 3-D positions of selected prominent features from motion and stereo sequences. Previous methods typically accommodate no more than a few dozen features for real-time processing. To maintain motion estimation accuracy, this calls for high contrast images to compute image feature locations with precision. Within manmade environments, various prominent corner points exist that can be extracted and tracked with required accuracy. However, prominent features are more difficult to localize precisely in natural scenes. Statistically, more feature points become necessary to maintain the same level of motion estimation accuracy and robustness. However, this imposes a computational burden beyond the capability of EKF-based techniques for real-time processing. A sequential dual EKF estimator utilizing stereo data is proposed for improved computation efficiency. Two important issues, unbiased estimation and stochastic stability are addressed. Furthermore, the dynamic feature set is handled in a more effective, efficient and robust way. Experimental results to demonstrate the merits of the new theoretical and algorithmic developments are presented.
Date of Conference: 14-16 June 2006