4 May 2012 Dense real-time stereo matching using memory efficient semi-global-matching variant based on FPGAs
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This paper presents a stereo image matching system that takes advantage of a global image matching method. The system is designed to provide depth information for mobile robotic applications. Typical tasks of the proposed system are to assist in obstacle avoidance, SLAM and path planning. Mobile robots pose strong requirements about size, energy consumption, reliability and output quality of the image matching subsystem. Current available systems either rely on active sensors or on local stereo image matching algorithms. The first are only suitable in controlled environments while the second suffer from low quality depth-maps. Top ranking quality results are only achieved by an iterative approach using global image matching and color segmentation techniques which are computationally demanding and therefore difficult to be executed in realtime. Attempts were made to still reach realtime performance with global methods by simplifying the routines. The depth maps are at the end almost comparable to local methods. An equally named semi-global algorithm was proposed earlier that shows both very good image matching results and relatively simple operations. A memory efficient variant of the Semi-Global-Matching algorithm is reviewed and adopted for an implementation based on reconfigurable hardware. The implementation is suitable for realtime execution in the field of robotics. It will be shown that the modified version of the efficient Semi-Global-Matching method is delivering equivalent result compared to the original algorithm based on the Middlebury dataset. The system has proven to be capable of processing VGA sized images with a disparity resolution of 64 pixel at 33 frames per second based on low cost to mid-range hardware. In case the focus is shifted to a higher image resolution, 1024×1024-sized stereo frames may be processed with the same hardware at 10 fps. The disparity resolution settings stay unchanged. A mobile system that covers preprocessing, matching and interfacing operations is also presented.
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Maximilian Buder, Maximilian Buder, } "Dense real-time stereo matching using memory efficient semi-global-matching variant based on FPGAs", Proc. SPIE 8437, Real-Time Image and Video Processing 2012, 843709 (4 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.921147; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.921147

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