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Epipolar Visual Servoing for Multirobot Distributed Consensus

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4 Author(s)
Montijano, E. ; Centro Univ. de la Defensa & Inst. de Investig. en Ing. de Aragon (I3A), Zaragoza, Spain ; Thunberg, J. ; Xiaoming Hu ; Sagues, C.

In this paper, we give a distributed solution to the problem of making a team of nonholonomic robots reach consensus about their orientations using monocular cameras. We consider a scheme where the motions of the robots are decided using nearest-neighbor rules. Each robot is equipped with a camera and can only exchange visual information with a subset of the other robots. The main contribution of this paper is a new controller that uses the epipoles that are computed from the images provided by neighboring robots, eventually reaching consensus in their orientations without the necessity of directly observing each other. In addition, the controller only requires a partial knowledge of the calibration of the cameras in order to achieve the desired configuration. We also demonstrate that the controller is robust to changes in the topology of the network and we use this robustness to propose strategies to reduce the computational load of the robots. Finally, we test our controller in simulations using a virtual environment and with real robots moving in indoor and outdoor scenarios.

Published in:

Robotics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:29 ,  Issue: 5 )