[Beowulf] cluster for doing real time video panoramas?

Jim Lux James.P.Lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Wed Dec 21 12:00:41 PST 2005

OK all you cluster fiends.. I've got a cool application (for home, sadly, 
not for work where I'd get paid to fool with it)..

I've got a robot on which I want to put a half dozen or so video cameras 
(video in that they capture a stream of images, but not necessarily that 
put out analog video..) with overlapping fields of view.  I've also got 
some telemetry that tells me what the orientation of the robot is.  I want 
to take the video streams and stitch them (in near real time) into a 
spherical panorama, that I can then render from a corrected viewpoint 
(based on orientation) to "stabilize" the image.

So.. you can get cheap 1394 video cameras from a variety of sources.
There's a package of tools for doing the panoramas called panotools from 
Helmut Dersch, which I've used successfully with still frames (but not 
video!) that can do all the needed camera transformations and resampling (I 

But, then, how do you do the real work... should the camera recalibration 
be done all on one processor?  Should each camera (or pair) gets its own 
cpu, which builds that part of the overall spherical image, and hands them 
off to yet another processor which "looks" at the appropriate part of the 
video image and sends that to the user?

here's an example of someone who did video panoramas on a Mac (but not in 
real time, I suspect)

Panotools info at: 

James Lux, P.E.
Spacecraft Radio Frequency Subsystems Group
Flight Communications Systems Section
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mail Stop 161-213
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
tel: (818)354-2075
fax: (818)393-6875

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