Thursday, May 15, 2014


To prove that measuring velocity of a vehicle with a linear camera is possible, it is necessary to do measurements of movements and compare it with the ground truth. A industrial robot will be used for this purpose. The robot is well calibrated and has a very accurate positioning system, thus its movement is taken as ground truth. The robot gives its position data through a TCP/IP connection to a C++ client application. This application also calculates the time-stamps, later the velocity is calculated with this information. The acquisition rate is limited to 5 Hz due to the communication settings in the robot server.

In the first phase the movements will be simple linear movements and with constant velocity. Measurements will be done with the camera sensor horizontal to the movement and next measurements with the sensor oblique to the movement. Oblique movements can happen in the real world when the vehicle has perpendicular component on its movement, also it can happen when the camera isn't well installed. When the sensor has an angle with the direction of movement the frames will be captured as shown in the figure 1, the consecutive frames will have less similarity and is the correlation expected to be weaker, this will be one of the sources of error.
Figure 1 - Frames captured in an oblique movement
There will be made experiments at 100 mm/s and 500 mm/s, each of which will have measurements with the sensor at 0 degrees (horizontal), 2, 5 and 10 degrees of rotation to induce the oblique movement.

Experimental Procedure 

The experimental procedure for this first phase is described as follows:
  • Camera positioning - The camera is positioned at the working distance from the robot;
  • Focus adjustment - The optics focus is adjusted until the lines are clearly visible;
  • Camera calibration - The angle of the camera is adjusted until the distance between the pairs of lines is equal, after this the camera will be horizontal to the movement and the field of view is determined. After this step the camera will not be moved anymore;
  • The “ground” material in installed on the robot and the working distance is adjusted to compensate the thickness of the material. The distance is compensated adjusting the robot position;
  • The measurements are made with the different velocities and angles of movement;
  • This procedure is repeated to the other distances;
Ground Materials

The materials that will be used as ground will be cork, concrete, stone simulating pavement and cloth. With this material is possible to simulate a broad kind of textures. Fine grain textures with the concrete,  gross grain textures with the stone simulating pavement, textures with high variation with the cork and regular repetitive textures with the cloth.


In the first tests was discovered that the light from the sun has a high influence on the image brightness and with this influence the captured image had a big brightness fluctuation throughout the day. To solve this problem and to have constant condition throughout the day the sun light was blocked in the lab. Instead artificial light will be used, the lighting will be done with two 500 W spotlights to provide enough brightness on the scene.


Due to safety issues the robot will be used at a maximum of 500 mm/s. The robot base is not fixed on the ground and high velocities should be avoided.

Frame Rate

The maximum frame rate to be used in the experiments will be 2500 Hz. With this camera it cant be higher than that or the image will have lack of brightness due to low exposure times. For higher frame rates another camera should be considered.

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