See before you see: Real-time high speed motion prediction using fast aperture-robust event-driven visual flow

Himanshu Akolkar, SioHoi Ieng, Ryad Benosman

Optical flow is a crucial component of the feature space for early visual processing of dynamic scenes especially in new applications such as self-driving vehicles, drones and autonomous robots. The dynamic vision sensors are well suited for such applications because of their asynchronous, sparse and temporally precise representation of the visual dynamics. Many algorithms proposed for computing visual flow for these sensors suffer from the aperture problem as the direction of the estimated flow is governed by the curvature of the object rather than the true motion direction. Some methods that do overcome this problem by temporal windowing under-utilize the true precise temporal nature of the dynamic sensors. In this paper, we propose a novel multi-scale plane fitting based visual flow algorithm that is robust to the aperture problem and also computationally fast and efficient. Our algorithm performs well in many scenarios ranging from fixed camera recording simple geometric shapes to real world scenarios such as camera mounted on a moving car and can successfully perform event-by-event motion estimation of objects in the scene to allow for predictions of upto 500 ms i.e. equivalent to 10 to 25 frames with traditional cameras.

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