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Simulating a thermal camera in gazebo

asked 2012-02-20 19:47:16 -0500

updated 2014-01-28 17:11:25 -0500

ngrennan gravatar image

How can thermal cams be simulated in gazebo? It looks like in principle, gazebo has (or had) support for a fiducial interface that would allow to write out information about objects regardless of their visuals. This could in theory be used if only certain objects are of interest.

As my scenario also involves finding only objects of interest of a certain temperature my quick fix solution will be to model them as COLLADA models and set their emissive and ambient colors to max red [255,0,0]. Then, using a modified camera sensor, only the max red pixels of the acquired image will be set to white (for white hot) in the simulated MONO8 thermal image. Of course, one has to take care that the "thermal marker color" (in my example max red) does not appear elsewhere in the world, but using normal lighting this should be pretty easy. This approach of course only works well if we're looking for sparsely scattered, small objects of interest, as otherwise the whole world will look bright red in visualization.

Now, another story is actually simulating thermal signatures of objects, but I guess this is currently not supported (short of actually modeling the visuals of all objects as they would appear in thermals). Any ideas and suggestions concerning this topic are welcome.

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answered 2012-02-25 10:54:00 -0500

updated 2012-02-26 19:38:50 -0500

I implemented my proposed approach from the OP and it works ok so far. As can be seen from the screenshot below, objects of interest (in this case walls of boxes behind some holes) are bright white in the thermal image while the rest of the enviroment is not. The plugin is available here along with some documentation. image description

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answered 2014-05-16 09:21:31 -0500

anima gravatar image

Thanks dude, We totally needed this. Can we coop to implement a full-fledged Thermal sim? Let me know what you think ( anima@uos.de )

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I don´t have time for that, but it probably makes sense to track this on the Gazebo issue tracker. I thus created a ticket that can be used for discussion (and eventual design and implementation): https://bitbucket.org/osrf/gazebo/issue/1192/simulating-thermal-cameras

Stefan Kohlbrecher gravatar imageStefan Kohlbrecher ( 2014-05-19 21:50:16 -0500 )edit

Thanks Stefan, We're on it. Even the best thermal sim I've seen to date (Ghost Recon Future Soldier) is totally imaginary and idealized. I guess the trick everyone's using is basically adding an extra layer only to OOI or simply faking it by showing visible light absorption levels using a heat map.

anima gravatar imageanima ( 2014-05-21 09:48:25 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2012-02-20 19:47:16 -0500

Seen: 1,452 times

Last updated: May 16 '14