Collaborating Authors

Relative Localization of Mobile Robots with Multiple Ultra-WideBand Ranging Measurements Artificial Intelligence

Relative localization between autonomous robots without infrastructure is crucial to achieve their navigation, path planning, and formation in many applications, such as emergency response, where acquiring a prior knowledge of the environment is not possible. The traditional Ultra-WideBand (UWB)-based approach provides a good estimation of the distance between the robots, but obtaining the relative pose (including the displacement and orientation) remains challenging. We propose an approach to estimate the relative pose between a group of robots by equipping each robot with multiple UWB ranging nodes. We determine the pose between two robots by minimizing the residual error of the ranging measurements from all UWB nodes. To improve the localization accuracy, we propose to utilize the odometry constraints through a sliding window-based optimization. The optimized pose is then fused with the odometry in a particle filtering for pose tracking among a group of mobile robots. We have conducted extensive experiments to validate the effectiveness of the proposed approach.

Robot Localization and Navigation through Predictive Processing using LiDAR Artificial Intelligence

Knowing the position of the robot in the world is crucial for navigation. Nowadays, Bayesian filters, such as Kalman and particle-based, are standard approaches in mobile robotics. Recently, end-to-end learning has allowed for scaling-up to high-dimensional inputs and improved generalization. However, there are still limitations to providing reliable laser navigation. Here we show a proof-of-concept of the predictive processing-inspired approach to perception applied for localization and navigation using laser sensors, without the need for odometry. We learn the generative model of the laser through self-supervised learning and perform both online state-estimation and navigation through stochastic gradient descent on the variational free-energy bound. We evaluated the algorithm on a mobile robot (TIAGo Base) with a laser sensor (SICK) in Gazebo. Results showed improved state-estimation performance when comparing to a state-of-the-art particle filter in the absence of odometry. Furthermore, conversely to standard Bayesian estimation approaches our method also enables the robot to navigate when providing the desired goal by inferring the actions that minimize the prediction error.

SA-LOAM: Semantic-aided LiDAR SLAM with Loop Closure Artificial Intelligence

LiDAR-based SLAM system is admittedly more accurate and stable than others, while its loop closure detection is still an open issue. With the development of 3D semantic segmentation for point cloud, semantic information can be obtained conveniently and steadily, essential for high-level intelligence and conductive to SLAM. In this paper, we present a novel semantic-aided LiDAR SLAM with loop closure based on LOAM, named SA-LOAM, which leverages semantics in odometry as well as loop closure detection. Specifically, we propose a semantic-assisted ICP, including semantically matching, downsampling and plane constraint, and integrates a semantic graph-based place recognition method in our loop closure detection module. Benefitting from semantics, we can improve the localization accuracy, detect loop closures effectively, and construct a global consistent semantic map even in large-scale scenes. Extensive experiments on KITTI and Ford Campus dataset show that our system significantly improves baseline performance, has generalization ability to unseen data and achieves competitive results compared with state-of-the-art methods.

Integrating Egocentric Localization for More Realistic Point-Goal Navigation Agents Artificial Intelligence

Recent work has presented embodied agents that can navigate to point-goal targets in novel indoor environments with near-perfect accuracy. However, these agents are equipped with idealized sensors for localization and take deterministic actions. This setting is practically sterile by comparison to the dirty reality of noisy sensors and actuations in the real world -- wheels can slip, motion sensors have error, actuations can rebound. In this work, we take a step towards this noisy reality, developing point-goal navigation agents that rely on visual estimates of egomotion under noisy action dynamics. We find these agents outperform naive adaptions of current point-goal agents to this setting as well as those incorporating classic localization baselines. Further, our model conceptually divides learning agent dynamics or odometry (where am I?) from task-specific navigation policy (where do I want to go?). This enables a seamless adaption to changing dynamics (a different robot or floor type) by simply re-calibrating the visual odometry model -- circumventing the expense of re-training of the navigation policy. Our agent was the runner-up in the PointNav track of CVPR 2020 Habitat Challenge.

DLO: Direct LiDAR Odometry for 2.5D Outdoor Environment Artificial Intelligence

For autonomous vehicles, high-precision real-time localization is the guarantee of stable driving. Compared with the visual odometry (VO), the LiDAR odometry (LO) has the advantages of higher accuracy and better stability. However, 2D LO is only suitable for the indoor environment, and 3D LO has less efficiency in general. Both are not suitable for the online localization of an autonomous vehicle in an outdoor driving environment. In this paper, a direct LO method based on the 2.5D grid map is proposed. The fast semi-dense direct method proposed for VO is employed to register two 2.5D maps. Experiments show that this method is superior to both the 3D-NDT and LOAM in the outdoor environment.