On the observability of bearing only SLAM

Conference Article


IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)





Doc link


Download the digital copy of the doc pdf document


In this paper we present an observability analysis for a mobile robot performing SLAM with a single monocular camera. The aim is to get a better understanding of the well known intuitive behavior of these systems, such as the need for triangulation to features from different positions in order to get accurate relative pose estimates. The characterization of the unobservable directions is made using the nullspace basis of the stripped observability matrix. This allow us to identify which vehicle motions are required to maximize the number of observable states in the system, which in turn affects accuracy in the estimation process. The analysis is performed by modeling the system in the continuous time domain as piecewise constant. Simulation results using an extended information filter are shown to verify the results of the observability analysis.


computer vision, robots.

Author keywords

bearing-only SLAM, continuous time domain, mobile robot, monocular camera, observability analysis, stripped observability matrix, vehicle motions

Scientific reference

T. Vidal-Calleja, M. Bryson, S. Sukkarieh, A. Sanfeliu and J. Andrade-Cetto. On the observability of bearing only SLAM, 2007 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, 2007, Roma, Italia, pp. 4114-4119, IEEE.