A Dataset for Visual Navigation with Neuromorphic Methods

Francisco Barranco, Cornelia Fermüller, Yiannis Aloimonos, Tobi Delbruck

Standardized benchmarks for Computer Vision provide very powerful tools for the development of new improved techniques in the field. Currently frame-free event-driven vision still lacks datasets to assess the accuracy of their methods. This dataset provides both frame-free event data and classic image, motion and depth data to assess different event-based methods and compare them to frame-based conventional Computer Vision. We hope that this will help researchers understand the potential of the new technology of event-based vision.

Event-based sensors and frame-based cameras record very different kinds of data streams. Frame-free sensors collect events that are triggered due to changes in the luminance while conventional sensors collect the luminance of the scene. If we want to compare methods for heterogeneous sensors, we will need conventional sensors and frame-free sensors collecting events from the same scene. To do so we used the DAVIS sensor [1] that collects asynchronous events and synchronous frames.

Building a dataset for frame-free sensors

The mechanism to create the dataset for a frame-free sensor consists in collecting events from the frame-free sensor and additional data from cameras, RGB-D sensors (RGB images plus Depth), inertial sensors, or motion capture systems:

Davis sensor calibration

The DAVIS240b sensor (right in the image) is mounted on a stereo rig together with a Microsoft Kinect Sensor that provides the RGB image and the depth map of the scene. The stereo rig is mounted on a Pan Tilt Unit (PTU-46-17P70T by FLIR Motion Control Systems, left in the image). Finally, the Pan Tilt Unit is on-board a Pioneer 3DX Mobile Robot (center in the image). The PTU controls the pan and tilt angles and angular velocities, while the Pioneer 3DX Mobile Robot is in control of the direction of translation and the speed. There are ROS (Robot Operating System) packages available for the PTU and the Pioneer 3DX mobile robot. Our dataset provides the following:

Calibration of DAVIS and RGB-D sensor

The RGB-D sensor provides the depth of the scene. The RGB data and the Depth in the Kinect sensor are captured by two separate sensors. To obtain the depth rectified with respect to the RGB we use the Kinect SDK. In order to use it in the DAVIS coordinate system, a registration of the depth of the RGB-D sensor is required.

To begin with, we calibrate and extract intrinsic and extrinsic parameters from both DAVIS APS frames and Kinect RGB images. Next, we perform a stereo calibration between the RGB-D sensor and the DAVIS. In other words, the stereo calibration gives us the rotation and translation of the DAVIS with respect to the Kinect.

First, the depth is undistorted using the camera parameters already computed. Next, the 2D coordinates in the image plane are projected into the 3D world coordinates (since the depth is known). The 3D point cloud is then transformed using the rotation and translation computed from the stereo calibration. Last, the new 3D point cloud is projected back into the 2D plane. Now, the new depth registered for the DAVIS coordinate system can be obtained.

Calibration of DAVIS and PTU

The goal is to obtain estimates of the translation and rotation of the camera for a given rotation combination of the pan and tilt of the PTU. The calibration is based on the approach in Appendix D in [3].

The procedure captures images for different combinations of the Pan-Tilt unit , which are used to calibrate the camera with respect to a baseline position (pan=0, tilt=0). This gives us the position of the camera coordinate system (rotation and translation) with respect to the baseline. Then, the DAVIS sensor is calibrated with respect to the center of the PTU unit, using all the rotations and translations computed previously for the different combinations. This is done formulating a minimization problem that is solved searching for the translation, and then solving for rotation. Then the rotation of the DAVIS sensor coordinate system is computed, using simple averaging. The details can be found in the paper. The code is also available in the Section Resources.

Generating 2D motion flow field

The image motion flow field is the projection of the velocities of 3D scene points onto the image plane. The 3D velocities relate the 3D points \textbf{P} = (X, Y, Z) and their instantaneous motion \textbf{\.{P}} = -\textbf{t} - \textbf{\textit{w}} \times \textbf{P}, using Longuet-Higgins and Prazdny's model [4]. The 3D instantaneous motion \textbf{\.{P}} is then obtained as the sum of the translational velocity \textbf{t}=(t_{1}, t_{2}, t_{3}) and the rotational velocity \textbf{\textit{w}}=(\textit{w}_{1}, \textit{w}_{2}, \textit{w}_{3}). Now, the equation that relates the velocity in the image plane (\textbf{u}, \textbf{v}) with the 2D coordinates in the image plane (x,y), the 3D translation and 3D rotation, and the depth \textbf{Z} is

u(x,y) = \frac{1}{Z}(-t_{1} f + x t_{3} ) + \textit{w}_{1} \frac{x y}{f} - \textit{w}_{2} \left(\frac{x^2}{f} + f\right) + \textit{w}_{3} y\\
v(x,y) = \frac{1}{Z}(-t_{2} f + y t_{3} ) + \textit{w}_{1} \left( \frac{y^2}{f} + f\right) - \textit{w}_{2} \frac{x y}{f} - \textit{w}_{3} x


	author = {Barranco, F. and Fermuller, C. and Aloimonos, Y. and Delbruck, T.},
	title = "A Dataset for Visual Navigation with Neuromorphic Methods",
	journal = "Frontiers in Neuroscience",
	year = "2015",
	month= "Nov.",


Sequence 0001 Data Ground-Truth Sequence 0002 Data Ground-Truth Sequence 0003 Data Ground-Truth
Sequence 0004 Data Ground-Truth Sequence 0005 Data Ground-Truth Sequence 0006 Data Ground-Truth
Sequence 0007 Data Ground-Truth Sequence 0008 Data Ground-Truth Sequence 0009 Data Ground-Truth
Sequence 0010 Data Ground-Truth Sequence 0011 Data Ground-Truth Sequence 0012 Data Ground-Truth
Sequence 0013 Data Ground-Truth Sequence 0014 Data Ground-Truth Sequence 0015 Data Ground-Truth
Sequence 0016 Data Ground-Truth Sequence 0017 Data Ground-Truth Sequence 0018 Data Ground-Truth
Sequence 0019 Data Ground-Truth Sequence 0020 Data Ground-Truth Sequence 0021 Data Ground-Truth
Sequence 0022 Data Ground-Truth Sequence 0023 Data Ground-Truth Sequence 0024 Data Ground-Truth
Sequence 0025 Data Ground-Truth Sequence 0026 Data Ground-Truth Sequence 0027 Data Ground-Truth
Sequence 0028 Data Ground-Truth Sequence 0029 Data Ground-Truth Sequence 0030 Data Ground-Truth
Sequence 0031 Data Ground-Truth Sequence 0032 Data Ground-Truth Sequence 0033 Data Ground-Truth
Sequence 0034 Data Ground-Truth Sequence 0035 Data Ground-Truth Sequence 0036 Data Ground-Truth
Sequence 0037 Data Ground-Truth Sequence 0038 Data Ground-Truth Sequence 0039 Data Ground-Truth
Sequence 0040 Data Ground-Truth Sequence 0041 Data Ground-Truth
Artificial sequences Data Ground-Truth


  • [1] Brandli, C., Berner, R., Yang, M., Liu, S.-C., and Delbruck, T., A 240x180 130 db 3 us latency global shutter spatiotemporal vision sensor, IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits, 49 (10):2333-2341, 2014.
  • [2] Voigt, R., Nikolic, J., Hurzeler, C., Weiss, S., Kneip, L., and Siegwart, R., Robust embedded egomotion estimation, in International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2694-2699, 2011.
  • [3] Bitsakos, K., Towards segmentation into surfaces, Thesis, University of Maryland, College Park, 2010.
  • [4] Longuet-Higgins, H. C. and Prazdny, K., The interpretation of a moving retinal image, in Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 208 (1173):385-397, 1989.
  • * The image in Fig.1 that shows rotation and translation of a coordinate system was adapted from Bradski, Gary, Learning OpenCV, Adrian Kaehler Published by O'Reilly Media, Inc., 2008.
  • * The images in Fig. 2 were taken from
    Left: Pan-Tilt Unit FLIR PTU-46-17P70T
    Center: Pioneer 3DX Mobile Robot.
    Right: DAVIS240b sensor
  • Update Oct. 2016

    Some sequences and code in the GIT repository have been updated. More sequences are to come in the next weeks. Please, consider that some of them are not available yet. Values for the flow are computed in m/frame. Please, note that the frame rate for each sequence is different. Values for frame rates are computed in the example reconstructFlow in the repository.


    This work was supported by an EU Marie Curie grant (FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IOF-33208), the EU Project Poeticon++ under the Cognitive Systems program, the National Science Foundation under grant SMA 1248056, grant SMA 1540917 and grant CNS 1544797 and the Junta de Andalucia VITVIR project (P11-TIC-8120), and by DARPA through U.S. Army grant W911NF-14-1-0384.

    Questions? Please contact fbarranco "at" ugr dot es