Trajectory Servoing: Image-Based Trajectory Tracking without Absolute Positioning
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The thesis describes an image based visual servoing (IBVS) system for a non-holonomic robot to achieve good trajectory following without real-time robot pose information and without a known visual map of the environment. We call it trajectory servoing. The critical component is a feature based, indirect SLAM method to provide a pool of available features with estimated depth and covariance, so that they may be propagated forward in time to generate image feature trajectories with uncertainty information for visual servoing. Short and long distance experiments show the benefits of trajectory servoing for navigating unknown areas without absolute positioning. Trajectory servoing is shown to be more accurate than SLAM pose-based feedback and further improved by a weighted least square controller using covariance from the underlying SLAM system.