Automatically calibrating the viewing direction of optic-flow sensors
Because of their low weight, cost and energy consumption, optic-flow sensors attract growing interest in robotics for tasks such as self-motion estimation or depth measurement. Most applications require a large number of these sensors, which involves a fair amount of calibration work for each setup. In particular, the viewing direction of each sensor has to be measured for proper operation. This task is often cumbersome and prone to errors, and has to be carried out every time the setup is slightly modified. This paper proposes an algorithm for viewing direction calibration relying on rate gyroscope readings and a recursive weighted linear least square estimation of the rotation matrix elements. The method only requires the user to realize random rotational motions of its setup by hand. The algorithm provides hints about the current precision of the estimation and what motions should be performed to improve it. To assess the validity of the method, tests were performed on an experimental setup and the results compared to a precise manual calibration. The repeatability of the gyroscope-based calibration process reached ±1.7° per axis.