ENHANCEMENT OF STEREO IMAGERY BY ARTIFICIAL TEXTURE PROJECTION GENERATED USING A LIDAR
Keywords: stereo, LIDAR, pattern projection, structured light, texture, Gotcha
Abstract. Passive stereo imaging is capable of producing dense 3D data, but image matching algorithms generally perform poorly on images with large regions of homogenous texture due to ambiguous match costs. Stereo systems can be augmented with an additional light source that can project some form of unique texture onto surfaces in the scene. Methods include structured light, laser projection through diffractive optical elements, data projectors and laser speckle. Pattern projection using lasers has the advantage of producing images with a high signal to noise ratio. We have investigated the use of a scanning visible-beam LIDAR to simultaneously provide enhanced texture within the scene and to provide additional opportunities for data fusion in unmatched regions. The use of a LIDAR rather than a laser alone allows us to generate highly accurate ground truth data sets by scanning the scene at high resolution. This is necessary for evaluating different pattern projection schemes. Results from LIDAR generated random dots are presented and compared to other texture projection techniques. Finally, we investigate the use of image texture analysis to intelligently project texture where it is required while exploiting the texture available in the ambient light image.