Identifier

etd-060117-025609

Abstract

"The use of cameras and computer vision algorithms to provide state estimation for robotic systems has become increasingly popular, particularly for small mobile robots and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). These algorithms extract information from the camera images and perform simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) to provide state estimation for path planning, obstacle avoidance, or 3D reconstruction of the environment. High resolution cameras have become inexpensive and are a lightweight and smaller alternative to laser scanners. UAVs often have monocular camera or stereo camera setups since payload and size impose the greatest restrictions on their flight time and maneuverability. This thesis explores ORB-SLAM, a popular Visual SLAM method that is appropriate for UAVs. Visual SLAM is computationally expensive and normally offloaded to computers in research environments. However, large UAVs with greater payload capacity may carry the necessary hardware for performing the algorithms. The inclusion of general-purpose GPUs on many of the newer single board computers allows for the potential of GPU-accelerated computation within a small board profile. For this reason, an NVidia Jetson board containing an NVidia Pascal GPU was used. CUDA, NVidia’s parallel computing platform, was used to accelerate monocular ORB-SLAM, achieving onboard Visual SLAM on a small UAV. Committee members:"

Publisher

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name

MS

Department

Robotics Engineering

Project Type

Thesis

Date Accepted

2017-06-01

Accessibility

Unrestricted

Subjects

ORB-SLAM, CUDA, visual SLAM, SLAM, NVidia

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