Intelligent Robots for Improving the Quality of Life The National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Robotics is a Swiss nationwide organisation funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation… Read more
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Event-based dynamic vision sensors (DVSs) asynchronously report log intensity changes. Their high dynamic range, sub-ms latency and sparse output make them useful in applications such as robotics and real-time tracking. However they discard absolute intensity information which is useful for object recognition and classification. This paper presents a dynamic and active pixel vision sensor (DAVIS) which addresses this deficiency by outputting asynchronous DVS events and synchronous global shutter frames concurrently. The active pixel sensor (APS) circuits and the DVS circuits within a pixel share a single photodiode. Measurements from a 240×180 sensor array of 18.5um^2 pixels fabricated in a 0.18um 6M1P CMOS image sensor (CIS) technology show a dynamic range of 130dB with 11% contrast detection threshold, minimum 3us latency, and 3.5% contrast matching for the DVS pathway; and a 51dB dynamic range with 0.5% FPN for the APS readout.
Mobile robots need to know the terrain in which they are moving for path planning and obstacle avoidance. This paper proposes the combination of a bio-inspired, redundancy-suppressing dynamic vision sensor (DVS) with a pulsed line laser to allow fast terrain reconstruction. A stable laser stripe extraction is achieved by exploiting the sensor’s ability to capture the temporal dynamics in a scene. An adaptive temporal filter for the sensor output allows a reliable reconstruction of 3D terrain surfaces. Laser stripe extractions up to pulsing frequencies of 500 Hz were achieved using a line laser of 3 mW at a distance of 45 cm using an event-based algorithm that exploits the sparseness of the sensor output. As a proof of concept, unstructured rapid prototype terrain samples have been successfully reconstructed with an accuracy of 2 mm.