Todor Stoyanov, Martin Magnusson and Achim J. Lilienthal
Fast and Accurate Scan Registration through Minimization of the Distance between Compact 3D NDT Representations
Proc. International Journal of Robotics Research
Abstract: Registration of range sensor measurements is an important task in mobile robotics and has received a lot of attention. Several iterative optimization schemes have been proposed in order to align three-dimensional point scans. With the more widespread use of high-frame rate 3D sensors and increasingly more challenging application scenarios for mobile robots, there is a need for fast and accurate registration methods that current state of the art algorithms cannot always meet. This work proposes a novel algorithm that achieves accurate point cloud registration an order of a magnitude faster than the current state of the art. The speedup is achieved through the use of a compact spatial representation --- the Three-Dimensional Normal Distributions Transform (3D-NDT). In addition, a fast, global-descriptor based on the 3D-NDT is defined and used to achieve reliable initial poses for the iterative algorithm. Finally, a closed form expression for the covariance of the proposed method is also derived. The proposed algorithms are evaluated on two standard point cloud data sets, resulting in stable performance on par with or better than the state of the art. The implementation is available as an open-source package for the Robot Operating System (ROS).
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@ARTICLE{Stoyanov_etal:IJRR:2012,
  AUTHOR = {Stoyanov, Todor and Magnusson, Martin and Lilienthal, Achim J.},
  TITLE = {Fast and Accurate Scan Registration through Minimization of the Distance between Compact 3D NDT Representations},
  JOURNAL = {The International Journal of Robotics Research},
  VOLUME = {31},
  ISSUE = {12},
  PAGES = {1377-1393},
  YEAR = {2012},
  DOI = {10.1177/0278364912460895}
}