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AprilTag and Aruco are both popular methods for vision-based fiducial marker pose estimation.

What are the pros and cons of each fiducial marker pose estimation systems?

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Aruco (as implemented in OpenCV)

  • pros
    • Easy to set up (with readily available aruco marker generator, opencv & ros implementation, etc.)
    • fewer false detection (with default parameters)
  • cons
    • Newer versions of aruco is GPL licensed, hence opencv is stuck on an old implementation of aruco when it was still BSD.
    • More susceptible to rotational ambiguity at medium to long ranges
    • More tuning parameters
    • More computationally intensive

AprilTag (as implemented in apriltag_ros)

  • pros
    • BSD license
    • Fewer tuning parameters
    • Works fairly well even at long range
    • Used by NASA
    • More flexible marker design (e.g. markers not necessarily square)
    • Less computationally intensive
  • cons
    • less straight forward to setup (no opencv implementation AFAIK, only ros implementation, slightly more steps to obtain markers)
    • more false detection (with default parameters)
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