HDVIO: Improving Localization and Disturbance Estimation with Hybrid Dynamics VIO

Giovanni Cioffi
University of Zürich
Leonard Bauersfeld
University of Zürich
Davide Scaramuzza
University of Zürich
Paper Website

Paper ID 71

Session 9. Robot State Estimation

Poster Session Thursday, July 13

Poster 7

Abstract: Visual-inertial odometry (VIO) is the most common approach for estimating the state of autonomous micro aerial vehicles using only onboard sensors. Existing methods improve VIO performance by including a dynamics model in the estimation pipeline. However, such methods degrade in the presence of low-fidelity vehicle models and continuous external disturbances, such as wind. Our proposed method, HDVIO, overcomes these limitations by using a hybrid dynamics model that combines a point-mass vehicle model with a learning-based component that captures complex aerodynamic effects. HDVIO estimates the external force and the full robot state by leveraging the discrepancy between the actual motion and the predicted motion of the hybrid dynamics model. Our hybrid dynamics model uses a history of thrust and IMU measurements to predict the vehicle dynamics. To demonstrate the performance of our method, we present results on both public and novel drone dynamics datasets and show real-world experiments of a quadrotor flying in strong winds up to 25 km/h. The results show that our approach improves the motion and external force estimation compared to the state-of-the-art by up to 33% and 40%, respectively. Furthermore, differently from existing methods, we show that it is possible to predict the vehicle dynamics accurately while having no explicit knowledge of its full state.