Robot localization using a computer vision sextant

Fabio Cozman, Eric Krotkov

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference Paper

47 Scopus citations


This paper explores the possibility of using Sun altitude for localization of a robot in totally unknown territory. A set of Sun altitudes is obtained by processing a sequence of time-indexed images of the sky. Each altitude constrains the viewer to a circle on the surface of a celestial body, called the circle of equal altitude. A set of circles of equal altitude can be intersected to yield viewer position. We use this principle to obtain position on Earth. Since altitude measurements are corrupted by noise, a least-square estimate is numerically calculated from the sequence of altitudes. The paper discusses the necessary theory for Sun-based localization, the technical issues of camera calibration and image processing, and presents preliminary results with real data.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1995
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation -
Duration: 1 Jan 1997 → …


ConferenceProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
Period1/01/97 → …


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