Microsystem Technologies

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 561–571 | Cite as

Visual positioning system for small-scaled spherical robot in underwater environment

  • Yanlin He
  • Lianqing ZhuEmail author
  • Guangkai Sun
  • Junfei Qiao
Technical Paper


Aiming at application requirements of our small-scaled spherical amphibious robots, a visual positioning system adopting the model of depth image and feature fusion was designed and implemented in this paper. Considering the narrow load space, the limited structure space and the specialized underwater application scenarios of the spherical robot (the diameter of the upper and lower hemisphere is 320 and 350 mm, respectively), a Time of Flight RGB-D camera was used, and the color image and depth image could be acquired, thus the position of objective could be calculated from image information, a calibration experiment for distance correction was designed to improve the accuracy of the positioning system. Based on the theoretical analysis and calculation, a series of underwater experiments were carried out to test the performance of the proposed positioning method. Experimental results confirmed the feasibility of the proposed visual positioning method, and the maximum error between the actual positioning result and the reference value is less than 7 mm, which could meet future demands of our amphibious spherical robot in biological monitoring and multi robot cooperation.



This work is supported by Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University (no. IRT_16R07). This research project was also partly supported by the Importation and Development of High-Caliber Talents Project of Beijing Municipal Institutions (no. IDHT20170510), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation funded project (2018M631290).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yanlin He
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lianqing Zhu
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Guangkai Sun
    • 1
    • 2
  • Junfei Qiao
    • 3
  1. 1.Beijing Engineering Research Center of Optoelectronic Information and InstrumentsBeijing Information Science and Technology UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Bionic and Intelligent Aerospace Vehicles LabBeijing Information Science and Technology UniversityBeijingChina
  3. 3.Beijing University of TechnologyBeijingChina

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