|Title: Feasibility of Basic Visual Navigation for Small Robotic Sailboats|
|Written by: T. Neumann and A. Schlaefer|
|in: Robotic Sailing 2012|
|on pages: 13-22|
Abstract: Image based navigation is a key research focus for many robotic applications. One complication for small sailing robots is their limited buoyancy and rather rapid motion. We studied whether it would still be feasible to use video data for basic navigation in an inshore race course scenario. Particularly, we considered methods for detecting the horizon and buoys, as well as estimating rotations via optical flow. All methods have been tested on a set of manually annotated scenes representing different sailing and lighting conditions. The results show that detection rates of more than 80% for the horizon and more than 94\% for buoys can be achieved. Moreover, a comparison of the average optical flow with compass data indicates that rotations of the boat can be estimated. Hence, the methods should be considered in addition to other sensors.