Simultaneous Optical Flow and Intensity Estimation From an Event Camera

Patrick Bardow, Andrew J. Davison, Stefan Leutenegger; The IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2016, pp. 884-892

Abstract


Event cameras are bio-inspired vision sensors which mimic retinas to measure per-pixel intensity change rather than outputting an actual intensity image. This proposed paradigm shift away from traditional frame cameras offers significant potential advantages: namely avoiding high data rates, dynamic range limitations and motion blur. Unfortunately, however, established computer vision algorithms may not at all be applied directly to event cameras. Methods proposed so far to reconstruct images, estimate optical flow, track a camera and reconstruct a scene come with severe restrictions on the environment or on the motion of the camera, e.g. allowing only rotation. Here, we propose, to the best of our knowledge, the first algorithm to simultaneously recover the motion field and brightness image, while the camera undergoes a generic motion through any scene. Our approach employs minimisation of a cost function that contains the asynchronous event data as well as spatial and temporal regularisation within a sliding window time interval. Our implementation relies on GPU-based optimisation and runs in near real-time. In a series of examples, we demonstrate the successful operation of our framework, including in situations where conventional cameras heavily suffer from dynamic range limitations or motion blur.

Related Material


[pdf]
[bibtex]
@InProceedings{Bardow_2016_CVPR,
author = {Bardow, Patrick and Davison, Andrew J. and Leutenegger, Stefan},
title = {Simultaneous Optical Flow and Intensity Estimation From an Event Camera},
booktitle = {The IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)},
month = {June},
year = {2016}
}