A software library and set of programs largely automate the geometric calibration of video cameras. Developed especially for robotic vision systems, this software generates the information needed to determine the three-dimensional (3D) positions of objects that appear in two- dimensional (2D) video images. Typically, the software can perform 2D-to-3D mappings with precision of 0.1 to 0.3 pixels. The software enables the creation, manipulation, and application of geometric models of camera lenses. The models are constructed semiautomatically from images of known calibration targets, and these models can be applied automatically to live images, thereby enabling robots to generate the position information needed for such robotic operations as manipulation of objects, mapping, and navigation. The software supports three main types of models: (1) linear (ordinarily suitable for fields of view narrower than about 30°), (2) radial lens distortion (typically suitable for fields of view ranging from 15° to 110° wide), and (3) fisheye lens distortion (typically suitable for fields of view wider than 90°). Camera models generated by this software have enabled the development of real-time, visionbased control systems on a variety of advanced civilian and military robots.

The algorithms and software were developed by Don Gennery, Todd Litwin, Yalin Xiong, Mark Maimone, and Larry Matthies of Caltech for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Don Hart of the California Institute of Technology at (818) 393-3425. Refer to NPO-21077.


This Brief includes a Technical Support Package (TSP).
Software for Geometric Calibration of Video Cameras

(reference NPO-21077) is currently available for download from the TSP library.

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This article first appeared in the February, 2002 issue of Motion Control Tech Briefs Magazine.

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