Learning Long-range Perception using Self-Supervision from Short-Range Sensors and Odometry
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README.md

README.md

Learning Long-range Perception using Self-Supervision from Short-Range Sensors and Odometry

Mirko Nava, Jérôme Guzzi, R. Omar Chavez-Garcia, Luca M. Gambardella and Alessandro Giusti

Robotics Lab, Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence, USI-SUPSI, Lugano (Switzerland)

We introduce a general self-supervised approach to predict the future outputs of a short-range sensor (such as a proximity sensor) given the current outputs of a long-range sensor (such as a camera); we assume that the former is directly related to some piece of information to be perceived (such as the presence of an obstacle in a given position), whereas the latter is information-rich but hard to interpret directly. We instantiate and implement the approach on a small mobile robot to detect obstacles at various distances using the video stream of the robot's forward-pointing camera, by training a convolutional neural network on automatically-acquired datasets. We quantitatively evaluate the quality of the predictions on unseen scenarios, qualitatively evaluate robustness to different operating conditions, and demonstrate usage as the sole input of an obstacle-avoidance controller.

The e-print of the article is available at the following link arXiv:1809.07207.

Predictions Prediction of a model trained with the proposed approach applied on a camera mounted on a Mighty Thymio (a), on a TurtleBot (b) and on the belt of a person (c).

Videos

All the video material of models trained with the proposed approach on different scenarios, robots and systems is available here.

Dataset

The whole collected dataset is available at this link. It is stored as an HDF5 file containing two groups per recording called respectively bag{index}_x and bag{index}_y for a total of 11 recordings (22 groups).

Code

The entire codebase is avaliable here. In order to generate the dataset, of which a download link is present above, one should launch the script preprocess.py which will create the dataset in hdf5 file format, starting from a collection of ROS bagfiles stored in a given folder.

The script train.py is used to train the model, which is defined in unified_model.py, using a given hdf5 dataset. A list of the available parameters can be seen by launching python train.py -h .

The script test.py is used to test the model, which is defined in unified_model.py, using a subset of the hdf5 groups defined in the script. A list of the available parameters can be seen by launching python test.py -h .

The scripts visualize.py and visualize_output.py and respectively used to visualize the dataset collected consisting in the camera's view and the ground truth labels, and to visualize the same information plus the selected models' prediction.