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Fixed multi camera tracking system

asked 2019-05-25 04:25:22 -0500

Bjb0403 gravatar image

Are there any ready made packages for tracking mobile robots in an environment, that utilises fixed position cameras? Something like the VICON system, but native to ros, and using off the shelf webcams rather than £120k cameras.

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answered 2019-05-25 20:57:15 -0500

Short answer: No.

Shortish answer: you could implement one yourself. A big point of tracking "robots" involves detecting what is a robot. That cannot be generalized because robots come in all shapes and sizes, you have to create your own detector. If you can make some simplifications like having fiducial markers then this could generalize more. You still have to rectify the positioning across multiple images and camera poses.

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Wouldn't @Bjb0403 be looking for something with fiducials? That would seem to be the most cost-effective way of getting something going with minimal hw and software. There are multiple fiducial tracking pkgs available.

It won't be as good as a VICON or OptiTrack, but it would be a start.

Another option might be to, instead of using webcams, use the tracking technology of HTC Vives. We've done that successfully here in the lab -- ROS drivers exist. They're not that expensive any more and it's really rather good.

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2019-05-26 01:32:06 -0500 )edit

Yes, the question as it was posed made me think they wanted a general purpose robot tracker, which would require a bit of work on their part and nothing out of the box. Even the Vive/apriltag system will require a bit of leg work on their side rather than something native to ros or off the shelf.

What @gvdhoorn says is right -- that handles the detection part of the system which is the less trivial problem to generalize.

stevemacenski gravatar image stevemacenski  ( 2019-05-26 01:36:03 -0500 )edit

Even the Vive/apriltag system will require a bit of leg work on their side rather than something native to ros or off the shelf.

In our case affixing the markers / vive trackers was all that was needed. After that it just publishes TF frames.

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2019-05-26 01:39:42 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2019-05-25 04:25:22 -0500

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Last updated: May 25 '19