Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New release of ar_kinect

I had a bit of downtime yesterday afternoon, which meant I finally had a chance to do some updates to the ar_kinect package. This package localizes augmented reality (AR) markers using the ARtoolkit -- but it has the special ability to get highly accurate pose information using the point cloud data from the Kinect. This was originally my entry into the ROS3D contest hosted by Willow Garage, and has found use in many labs.

The new version includes a number of updates. First and foremost, the algorithm for using the cloud data is completely new. Instead of estimating surface normals for orientation (a slow and somewhat unreliable process), the new ar_kinect package finds orientation and pose at the same time, by registering the four corners of the marker (as found by ARtoolkit) against an ideal marker. This is both faster and far more accurate.

The ar_kinect package is part of the albany_vision stack, and can be found in the albany-ros-pkg repository.