Experimental Evaluation of Uncalibrated Visual Servoing for Precision Manipulation

Martin Jagersand, Olac Fuentes and Randal C. Nelson
Department of Computer Science
University of Rochester
Rochester, NY 14627

Abstract: In this paper we present an experimental evaluation of adaptive and non-adaptive visual servoing in 3, 6 and 12 degrees of freedom (DOF), comparing it to traditional joint feedback control. While the purpose of experiments in most other work has been to show that the particular algorithm presented indeed also works in practice, we do not focus on the algorithm, but rather on properties important to visual servoing in general. Our main results are: positioning of a 6 axis PUMA 762 arm is up to 5 times more precise under visual control, than under joint control. Positioning of a Utah/MIT dextrous hand is better under visual control than under joint control by a factor of 2. We also found that a trust-region-based adaptive visual feedback controller is very robust. For m tracked visual features the algorithm can successfully estimate online the m x 3 (m >= 3) image Jacobian (J) without any prior information, while carrying out a 3 DOF manipulation task. For 6 and higher DOF manipulation, a rough initial estimate of J is beneficial. We also verified that redundant visual information is valuable. Errors due to imprecise tracking and goal specification were reduced as the number of visual features, m, was increased. Furthermore highly redundant systems allow us to detect outliers in the feature vector, and deal with partial occlusion.