Pose-based and image-based visual servoing for reaching and following paths with nonholonomic mobile robots

Contact: Andrea Cherubini

Creation Date: January 2008

Description of the demonstration

We present two visual servoing controllers enabling nonholonomic mobile robots with a fixed pinhole camera to reach and follow a continuous path on the ground. The controllers (pose-based and image-based) utilize only a small set of features extracted from the image plane, without using the complete geometric representation of the path.

In both control schemes, we set constant linear velocity and apply a nonlinear feedback, based on the path features, to the robot angular velocity. In practice, the path following task is to drive the first visible path point and the corresponding path tangent to a desired configuration. Depending on the position of such point in the image plane, the control schemes switch between two primitive controllers: a row controller, and a column controller. In both primitive controllers, the task is to drive the path features to a desired configuration, while the point is constrained to a line in the image plane (a row of pixels in the first case, and a column of pixels in the second case). For the pose-based approach, the path 3D features must be derived from the image features by considering the camera model. The image-based control scheme relies on the Image Jacobian relating the path features with the camera velocity.

The performance of the two controllers is validated and compared by simulations and experiments on a car-like robot equipped with a pinhole camera.


The proposed approach has been developed by A. Cherubini, F. Chaumette, and G. Oriolo.


This clipicone video shows a simulation realized within Webots. In Webots, we have drawn a circular path, and the two control schemes (pose-based and image-based) have been applied starting from an initial configuration with the path intersecting the image right pixel column. Initially, the column controller is used to drive the intersection point along the right pixel column to the bottom right corner. Then, the row controller is used to drive the point along the bottom pixel row to the desired set point.


The two control schemes have been tested on a car-like vehicle with a 70 field of view, forward looking camera. The path features are derived by tracking straight lines and arcs of parabola with the ViSP visual servoing software. The tracker must be initialized by clicking on five path points oriented in the desired path verse.

For each of the two control schemes, experiments with three different initial conditions have been carried out. The three initial conditions are shown in the image below. In order to verify the robustness of the two controllers, the experiments have been repeated by considering a random calibration error on the camera parameters.

This clipicone video shows the position-based experiments with calibrated camera.

In this clipicone video instead, the image-based controller is used. The camera is calibrated.


  1. A. Cherubini, F. Chaumette, G. Oriolo. . A position-based visual servoing scheme for following paths with nonholonomic mobile robots, IEEE/RSJ Int. Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2008,, Nice, France, September 2008.
  2. A. Cherubini, F. Chaumette, G. Oriolo. . An image-based visual servoing scheme for following paths with nonholonomic mobile robots, Int. Conf. on Control, Automation, Robotics and Vision, ICARCV 2008,, Hanoi, Vietnam, December 2008.

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