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Stereo Vision-Based Obstacle Avoidance

Students: Shakeeb Ahmad

This research is inspired by a popular computer game “Race the Sun”, where a UAV has to reach as far as possible consuming solar energy while the sun sets slowly. Hence, while maneuvering forward it has to save energy and form trajectories around obstacles at the same time. A similar idea is used along-with the real-time trajectory generation techniques combined with stereo vision. Multi-threading features in the Robot Operating System (ROS) and C++ are utilized to achieve parallel trajectory generation and execution. OpenCV is extensively used for image processing tasks. The hardware is also developed to run the proposed algorithm. Jetson TX2 is used to perform all the computations onboard and a forward-facing ZED-mini stereo camera is used to provide visual odometry and the depth image stream to be used by the planning algorithm for further processing. The system is completely independent and does not need any GPS or motion capture system as well, to navigate.

[1] S. Ahmad, “High-Performance Testbed for Vision-Aided Autonomous Navigation for Quadrotor UAVs in Cluttered Environments”, The University of New Mexico (Digital Repository), 2018

[2] S. Ahmad, R. Fierro, “Real-time Quadrotor Navigation Through Planning in Depth Space in Unstructured Environments.” (Under Review)