Multimedia Systems

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 195–210 | Cite as

Calibrating and optimizing poses of visual sensors in distributed platforms

  • Eva HörsterEmail author
  • Rainer Lienhart
Regular paper


Many novel multimedia, home entertainment, visual surveillance and health applications use multiple audio-visual sensors. We present a novel approach for position and pose calibration of visual sensors, i.e., cameras, in a distributed network of general purpose computing devices (GPCs). It complements our work on position calibration of audio sensors and actuators in a distributed computing platform (Raykar et al. in proceedings of ACM Multimedia ‘03, pp. 572–581, 2003). The approach is suitable for a wide range of possible – even mobile – setups since (a) synchronization is not required, (b) it works automatically, (c) only weak restrictions are imposed on the positions of the cameras, and (d) no upper limit on the number of cameras under calibration is imposed. Corresponding points across different camera images are established automatically. Cameras do not have to share one common view. Only a reasonable overlap between camera subgroups is necessary. The method has been sucessfully tested in numerous multi-camera environments with a varying number of cameras and has proven itself to work extremely accurate. Once all distributed visual sensors are calibrated, we focus on post-optimizing their poses to increase coverage of the space observed. A linear programming approach is derived that determines jointly for each camera the pan and tilt angle that maximizes the coverage of the space at a given sampling frequency. Experimental results clearly demonstrate the gain in visual coverage.


Multi-camera calibration Sensor networks Position calibration Pose optimization 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Multimedia Computing LabUniversity of AugsburgAugsburgGermany

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