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Packages for real-time tracking (using static stereo cameras) of a small ball/ball-like marker on Drone.

asked 2018-04-17 15:20:32 -0500

malharjajoo gravatar image

updated 2018-04-18 08:40:25 -0500

Update: By marker I mean something like the ball-like structures as seen in this video. These are being used by expensive motion capture cameras like Optitrack.

I do not wish to purchase the Vicon camera, but build something similar (probably a much crappy version, but something that works).



Are there any packages for real-time tracking (only 2D position in image needed) of a ball/ball-like marker (on a drone) in ROS ? I have seen hueblob but unable to launch it.

Has anyone used hueblob or other packages (for the above purpose) in ROS ?


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answered 2018-04-17 17:13:10 -0500

updated 2018-04-18 03:02:23 -0500

[ball/marker in ROS ?]

Ball tracking is widely used in humanoid robot football game like ROBOCUP, FIRA.

Check out the video (from 57sec) below. I also attach the related source code, so please refer to it if necessary. :)

[ball/marker in ROS ?]

If you are looking for a marker-based package, I would recommend the ar_track_alvar package. It is widely used as an AR tag tracking library in the ROS community.

The link below introduces the source code for one example video using the ar_track_alvar package. I think it is good to refer to this.

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Thanks for pointing those out, unfortunately I am already aware of alvar-track but as I mentioned in the question, I am looking for tracking markers on the drone. I have updated the question with a precise meaning of marker.

Also, I think the github link for the ball-tracking is broken.

malharjajoo gravatar image malharjajoo  ( 2018-04-18 02:59:17 -0500 )edit

Hi again, I modified the link for ball-tracking. If your purpose is to recognize the position and orientation by attaching a marker to the drones indoors, I would recommend the Vicon described in the link below. -

Pyo gravatar image Pyo  ( 2018-04-18 03:08:11 -0500 )edit

I dont think I understand you. Don't I need to purchase Vicon cameras for that ? I am trying to make my own motion cap with cheap cameras ...

malharjajoo gravatar image malharjajoo  ( 2018-04-18 06:02:08 -0500 )edit

Yes, you're right. :)

Pyo gravatar image Pyo  ( 2018-04-18 06:12:34 -0500 )edit

The rpg_monocular_pose_estimator package requires a set of LEDs with known transforms between them, but it works well. Their demo video shows tracking a quadrotor.

jarvisschultz gravatar image jarvisschultz  ( 2018-04-18 07:29:24 -0500 )edit

@jarvisschultz, It is good information. :) @malharjajoo, The reason I answer above is that your question title was "Packages for real-time tracking a small ball / marker in ROS". It has been modified now ...

Pyo gravatar image Pyo  ( 2018-04-18 08:10:23 -0500 )edit

Yes, apologies for that. was incomplete on my behalf. I think what @jarvisschultz has given may be what I need. An interesting point to note about infrared: it may not work in sunlight :). Also, not sure upto what distance it can track , but Ill have a look .. thanks @jarvisschultz and @Pyo

malharjajoo gravatar image malharjajoo  ( 2018-04-18 08:28:18 -0500 )edit

Another alternative method is to use the Kinect and markers proposed by CrazyFlie Team. Well ... The team does provide some ROS packages, but some seem to be incomplete because they work on Windows for Kinect2. You can think it as a reference only. I leave the link below for you.

Pyo gravatar image Pyo  ( 2018-04-18 09:01:41 -0500 )edit

answered 2018-04-18 07:30:18 -0500

AndyZe gravatar image

The visp_tracker package might work ok and it only requires a webcam. If the ball/marker-thing will be far from the camera, I don't think it will work well.

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Asked: 2018-04-17 15:20:32 -0500

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Last updated: Apr 18 '18