Informatics, TU Vienna

Vision Focused Multisensor-Fusion for Mobile Robots

Guest talk by Stephan Weiss (Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt).

The Interactive Media Systems (IMS) group cordially invites you to a talk by Stephan Weiss (Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt) on "Vision Focused Multisensor-Fusion for Mobile Robots".


Essential to any autonomous (mobile) robot is its robust and accurate estimation of the current state to answer the question "where am I?". Today, visual-inertial odometry approaches reached a fairly mature level but still have issues in different situations. We discuss approaches to mitigate both situations where there is large change in image scale and where there is simply not sufficient visual information. For the latter situation, a multi-sensor suite and online estimation of the device configuration help to mitigate the issue but at the same time introduce more complexity and, more importantly, unobservable modes to the state estimator depending on the motion (i.e. input) of the system. We will discuss a novel way to look at the system observability properties to render the binary information a smooth metric of quality of observability depending on the system input. We will see that this formulation helps to define best observable paths for fast and accurate state convergence. The formulation is on the non-linear time-continuous system and can additionally bound the paths to a feasible, obstacle free volume.


Stephan Weiss is Full Professor of Robotics and head of the Control of Networked Systems Group at the Alpen-Adria-Universität (AAU) in Klagenfurt, Austria. He received both his MSc in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology in 2008 and his Ph.D. in 2012 from the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zurich, Switzerland. His Ph.D. Thesis on "Vision Based Navigation for Micro Helicopters" first enabled GPS independent navigation of small UAVs using on-board visual-inertial state estimation. His algorithms were the key to enable the Mars Helicopter Scout proposal and corresponding proof-of-concept technology demonstration at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he worked from 2012 until 2015 as Research Technologist in the Mobility and Robotic Systems Section and where he lectured at the California Institute of Technology. He holds patent applications filed by NASA-JPL and CalTech concerning visual-inertial navigation methods for sUAVs.