Asynchronous Spatial Image Convolutions for Event Cameras

Cedric Scheerlinck*, Nick Barnes, Robert Mahony

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    40 Citations (Scopus)


    Spatial convolution is arguably the most fundamental of two-dimensional image processing operations. Conventional spatial image convolution can only be applied to a conventional image, that is, an array of pixel values (or similar image representation) that are associated with a single instant in time. Event cameras have serial, asynchronous output with no natural notion of an image frame, and each event arrives with a different timestamp. In this letter, we propose a method to compute the convolution of a linear spatial kernel with the output of an event camera. The approach operates on the event stream output of the camera directly without synthesising pseudoimage frames as is common in the literature. The key idea is the introduction of an internal state that directly encodes the convolved image information, which is updated asynchronously as each event arrives from the camera. The state can be read off as often as and whenever required for use in higher level vision algorithms for real-time robotic systems. We demonstrate the application of our method to corner detection, providing an implementation of a Harris corner-response 'state' that can be used in real time for feature detection and tracking on robotic systems.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number8613800
    Pages (from-to)816-822
    Number of pages7
    JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


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