Design and Calibration of a Network of RGB-D Sensors for Robotic Applications over Large Workspaces

Title: Design and Calibration of a Network of RGB-D Sensors for Robotic Applications over Large Workspaces
Authors: Macknojia, Rizwan
Date: 2013
Abstract: This thesis presents an approach for configuring and calibrating a network of RGB-D sensors used to guide a robotic arm to interact with objects that get rapidly modeled in 3D. The system is based on Microsoft Kinect sensors for 3D data acquisition. The work presented here also details an analysis and experimental study of the Kinect’s depth sensor capabilities and performance. The study comprises examination of the resolution, quantization error, and random distribution of depth data. In addition, the effects of color and reflectance characteristics of an object are also analyzed. The study examines two versions of Kinect sensors, one dedicated to operate with the Xbox 360 video game console and the more recent Microsoft Kinect for Windows version. The study of the Kinect sensor is extended to the design of a rapid acquisition system dedicated to large workspaces by the linkage of multiple Kinect units to collect 3D data over a large object, such as an automotive vehicle. A customized calibration method for this large workspace is proposed which takes advantage of the rapid 3D measurement technology embedded in the Kinect sensor and provides registration accuracy between local sections of point clouds that is within the range of the depth measurements accuracy permitted by the Kinect technology. The method is developed to calibrate all Kinect units with respect to a reference Kinect. The internal calibration of the sensor in between the color and depth measurements is also performed to optimize the alignment between the modalities. The calibration of the 3D vision system is also extended to formally estimate its configuration with respect to the base of a manipulator robot, therefore allowing for seamless integration between the proposed vision platform and the kinematic control of the robot. The resulting vision-robotic system defines the comprehensive calibration of reference Kinect with the robot. The latter can then be used to interact under visual guidance with large objects, such as vehicles, that are positioned within a significantly enlarged field of view created by the network of RGB-D sensors. The proposed design and calibration method is validated in a real world scenario where five Kinect sensors operate collaboratively to rapidly and accurately reconstruct a 180 degrees coverage of the surface shape of various types of vehicles from a set of individual acquisitions performed in a semi-controlled environment, that is an underground parking garage. The vehicle geometrical properties generated from the acquired 3D data are compared with the original dimensions of the vehicle.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -