I am creating an outdoor robot and would like to use optical flow to determine the distance and direction my robot is traveling. This will augment the digital compass and wheel encoders I am also planning to put on it.
From what I understand, optical mice sample the surface 1500 or more times per second then compare the movement between frames. It then knows where it is moving and sends that info to your computer.
I would like to do the same. I am planning to point one or more cameras to the ground and watch grass blades, gravel, etc pass by. Theoretically this should be a very accurate and inexpensive (at some point in the future) method to navigate.
Have any of you used vision in this way? Do you have any advice? I posted a similar question on the Seattle Robotics Society forum. http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/SeattleRobotics/message/34633
I appreciate your thoughts.