Combined Visual and Inertial Navigation for an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

  • Jonathan Kelly
  • Srikanth Saripalli
  • Gaurav S. Sukhatme
Part of the Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics book series (STAR, volume 42)


We describe an UAV navigation system which combines stereo visual odometry with inertial measurements from an IMU. Our approach fuses the motion estimates from both sensors in an extended Kalman filter to determine vehicle position and attitude. We present results using data from a robotic helicopter, in which the visual and inertial system produced a final position estimate within 1% of the measured GPS position, over a flight distance of more than 400 meters. Our results show that the combination of visual and inertial sensing reduced overall positioning error by nearly an order of magnitude compared to visual odometry alone.


Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Position Estimate Inertial Measurement Unit Stereo Camera Visual Odometry 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Kelly
    • 1
  • Srikanth Saripalli
    • 1
  • Gaurav S. Sukhatme
    • 1
  1. 1.Robotic Embedded Systems LaboratoryUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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