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Robot Calibration not finding a solution

asked 2013-12-01 10:53:25 -0500

updated 2013-12-04 05:06:28 -0500

We have a robot with a 6DOF arm and a 1 DOF neck joint and want to perform hand/eye calibration for this system. Before switching to the real system, we´d like to make sure things work using Gazebo. As the configuration used is very similar to ours, we started with the maxwell_calibration package and adapted it for our needs. We recorded a datasets of 25 checkerboard poses in Gazebo and tried running it through the estimation pipeline using a two-stage approach as in estimation_config.launch for maxwell. Unfortunately, the first step of calculating the checkerboard pose fails with a singular matrix error. Any ideas what could be the cause of this? The data should be close to ground truth, as everything is recorded in Gazebo pretty much without noise. Does a proper checkerboard transform start estimate have to be provided? If so, what is the coordinate frame convention for the checkerboard?

/edit: Even with just one sample, optimization is not converging. Is there any way I can find out why the RMS error stays high?

/edit: This is the camera_info of my simulated camera in Gazebo:

header: 
  seq: 9744
  stamp: 
    secs: 558
    nsecs: 490000000
  frame_id: left_camera_optical_frame
height: 800
width: 800
distortion_model: plumb_bob
D: [0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0]
K: [476.7030836014194, 0.0, 400.5, 0.0, 476.7030836014194, 400.5, 0.0, 0.0, 1.0]
R: [1.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 1.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 1.0]
P: [476.7030836014194, 0.0, 400.5, -0.0, 0.0, 476.7030836014194, 400.5, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 1.0, 0.0]
binning_x: 0
binning_y: 0
roi: 
  x_offset: 0
  y_offset: 0
  height: 0
  width: 0
  do_rectify: False

Can´t really see anything wrong with that, so my current hypotheses are:

  • Calibration does not like the one joint neck chain
  • Calibration does not like a fixed joint in my arm chain
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answered 2013-12-04 05:36:27 -0500

dgossow gravatar image

updated 2013-12-04 05:42:48 -0500

The calibration needs to compute the inverse Jacobians from your joint chain as described in the paper [1]. If there is only one or no joint in the chain (or joints with parallel axes), the Jabobian will be singular. That would explain why you get a singular matrix error.

I've run into the same problem and added a 'translation' parameter to the 'cov' section in the estimation parameters at some point, which lets you specify a diagonal matrix to add on top of the Jacobian to get an invertible covariance Matrix. This is undocumented unfortunately, like the rest of the calibration pipeline.. :/

my_chain:
  root: base_link
  tip: head_link
    cov:
       joint_angles: [0.01]
       translation: [0.002, 0.002, 0.002]

The calibration pipeline should also publish Markers under the topic "pose_guesses" that give you some introspection into how the calibration converges, and there's a tool called error_visualization.py that you should take a look at.

Good luck!

[1] http://www.willowgarage.com/sites/default/files/calibration.pdf

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Thanks for the answer! I indeed was lucky and found a nicely converging solution for a set of 4 checkerboards (out of 27). I tried the translation trick, but it does not appear to be used. Even putting some BS like " translation: ["blablabla"]" does not have any effect (neither do numbers).

Stefan Kohlbrecher gravatar imageStefan Kohlbrecher ( 2013-12-04 14:20:25 -0500 )edit
0

answered 2014-12-02 20:10:30 -0500

Ryohei Ueda gravatar image

I have the same problem.

On my robot, the initial RMS error is about 16000, but on PR2 it is about 0.66

the checkerboard orientation shoud be near to the tip link?

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It helps if you have a good start pose estimate for your checkerboard. I'd also recommend estimating only the checkerboard pose in the first calibration step, and maybe reducing the number of samples at first. Given you posted your question as an answer, you might want to post a new question.

Stefan Kohlbrecher gravatar imageStefan Kohlbrecher ( 2014-12-03 08:18:00 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2013-12-01 10:53:25 -0500

Seen: 392 times

Last updated: Dec 02 '14