A novel method for the extrinsic calibration of a 2D laser rangefinder and a camera

Wenbo Dong, Volkan Isler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


We present a novel method for extrinsically calibrating a camera and a 2D laser rangefinder whose beams are invisible from the camera image. We show that the point-to-plane constraints from a single observation of a V-shaped calibration pattern composed of two non-coplanar triangles suffice to uniquely constrain the relative pose between two sensors. Next, we present an approach to obtain analytical solutions using point-to-plane constraints from single or multiple observations. Along the way, we also show that the previous solutions, in contrast to our method, have inherent ambiguities and therefore must rely on a good initial estimate. Real and synthetic experiments validate our method and show that it achieves better accuracy than the previous methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4200-4211
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Sensors Journal
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received February 20, 2018; revised March 15, 2018; accepted March 15, 2018. Date of publication March 23, 2018; date of current version April 23, 2018. This work was supported in part by NSF Award 1317788, in part by USDA Award MIN-98-G02, and in part by the MnDrive initiative. This is an expanded paper from the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2017). The associate editor coordinating the review of this paper and approving it for publication was Dr. Cheng-Ta Chiang. (Corresponding author: Wenbo Dong.) The authors are with the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455 USA (e-mail: dong@cs.umn.edu; isler@cs.umn.edu). Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/JSEN.2018.2819082 Fig. 1. The calibration system incorporating a calibration target and a capture rig; Left: The calibration target formed by two triangular boards with a checkerboard on each triangle; Right: The capture rig consisting of a 2D LRF and stereo cameras. (Only one camera is involved in the calibration problem, the other is just for testing in real experiment.)

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  • 2D laser rangefinder (LRF)
  • analytical solution
  • camera
  • extrinsic calibration


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