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Calibrate Cameras

Table of contents

  1. Overview
  2. Command Line Options
  3. Monocular Calibration Process
  4. Stereo Calibration Process
  5. Source


VOXL Camera Calibration is a package in voxl-suite >= 0.5.0 for calibrating cameras on-board on voxl. If you are on an older voxl-suite image, we recommend that you upgrade and use this tool, but you can find a link to the deprecated ROS calibration process below.

Use of this tool requires the ability to view the overlay image coming off of voxl. We recommend using the VOXL Web Portal to view the overlay images.

Old Calibration Process

If you are heart-set on using ROS to calibrate your cameras, you can find the info for that deprecated process here

Command Line Options

Short OptionLong OptionEffect
-e--extrinsics-onlyFor a stereo pair, pull an existing intrinsics file and only run extrinsics
-f--fisheye Tells opencv to use fisheye parameters for finding the board and calibrating
-h--help Prints this help information
-l--length Specify the edge length of a single square in meters (default 0.038)
-m--mirror Mirror the overlay output, this is just personal preference
-s--size Specify the number of corners for the calibrator to look for (default 6x8)
-t--threshold Display the thresholded image in the overlay (debug tool for lighting conditions)

A standard command will look something like:

voxl-calibrate-camera tracking -f -s 6x8 -l 0.038


voxl-calibrate-camera stereo -s 6x8 -l 0.038

Monocular Calibration Process

To calibrate a monocular camera, such as the tracking camera on voxl, you can simply run the command: voxl-calibrate-camera tracking --fisheye, open the web portal, and fill the rectangles like such:

Tracking Cal

Once you’ve filled all the rectangles, the calibration will run, which will take a few seconds, and then the calibration will be printed to the terminal window. If the calibration was successful, it will also write to /data/modalai/opencv_{camera-name}_intrinsics.yml

yocto:/$ voxl-calibrate-camera tracking -f
[277.7090664510777, 0, 290.6865358454301;
 0, 277.5687125242331, 240.1597738541476;
 0, 0, 1]
distortion_model: fisheye
Re-projection error reported by calibrateCamera: 0.172684
Calibration Succeded!

Writing data to: /data/modalai/opencv_tracking_intrinsics.yml
Exiting Cleanly


When calibrating the standard OV7251 Tracking Camera, make sure to use the -f or --fisheye flag to make sure that the calibrator uses the fisheye lens distortion model.

Stereo Calibration Process

To calibrate a stereo camera, you can simply run the command: voxl-calibrate-camera stereo, open the web portal, and fill the rectangles like such:

Stereo Cal

The stereo calibrator calculates the intrinsics for each camera separately, so you will need to fill in all of the left rectangles, then all of the right rectangles. Once the intrinsics are done, you will have to manually add the extrinsic samples. To do so, hit enter in the terminal window that is running the calibrator to take a frame, once you have enough frames, type stop. These images do not have pre-specified locations since different orientations lead to different requirements. It is STRONGLY recommended that you do 2 images for the extrinsics, one skewed image on either side of the frame, like such:

Stereo Cal Left Stereo Cal Right

If everything has been done properly, you will see output like this:

yocto:/$ voxl-calibrate-camera stereo
Sampling overlapping images now
Enter an empty line to take a sample or "stop" to finish sampling

Taking Frame

Taking Frame
Stopping sampling
Calibrating Left Camera
[493.7322756669245, 0, 306.7896643027532;
 0, 493.1380517350153, 217.4680594645219;
 0, 0, 1]
distortion_model: plumb_bob
Re-projection error reported by calibrateCamera: 0.177678
Calibration Succeded!
Calibrating Right Camera
[496.1483207581481, 0, 320.9542358074322;
 0, 495.5756728109903, 223.7654477880258;
 0, 0, 1]
distortion_model: plumb_bob
Re-projection error reported by calibrateCamera: 0.179598
Calibration Succeded!
Calibrating Extrinsics
2 frames will be processed
[0.999777546053251, -0.0004080345076243199, 0.02108771954432934;
 0.002055883177889161, 0.9969371281114418, -0.07818015053240687;
 -0.02099123036171473, 0.07820611293723473, 0.9967161943839129]
Re-projection error reported by stereoCalibrate: 0.259720
Extrinsics Calibration Succeded!

Saved intrinsics to: /data/modalai/opencv_stereo_intrinsics.yml
Saved extrinsics to: /data/modalai/opencv_stereo_extrinsics.yml
Exiting Cleanly


Source code available on Gitlab.