Robotics: Science and Systems II

Improving Robot Navigation Through Self-Supervised Online Learning

B. Sofman, E. Lin, J. Bagnell, N. Vandapel, A. Stentz

Abstract: In mobile robotics, there are often features that, while potentially powerful for improving navigation, prove difficult to profit from as they generalize poorly to novel situations. Overhead imagery data, for instance, has the potential to greatly enhance autonomous robot navigation in complex outdoor environments. In practice, reliable and effective automated interpretation of imagery from diverse terrain, environmental conditions, and sensor varieties proves challenging. We introduce an online, probabilistic model to effectively learn to use these scope-limited features by leveraging other features that, while perhaps otherwise more limited, generalize reliably. We apply our approach to provide an efficient, self-supervised learning method that accurately predicts traversal costs over large areas from overhead data. We present results from field testing on-board a robot operating over large distances in off-road environments. Additionally, we show how our algorithm can be used offline to produce a priori traversal cost maps and detect misalignments between overhead data and estimated vehicle positions. This approach can significantly improve the versatility of many unmanned ground vehicles by allowing them to traverse highly varied terrains with increased performance.



    AUTHOR    = {B. Sofman and E. Lin and J. Bagnell and N. Vandapel and A. Stentz},
    TITLE     = {Improving Robot Navigation Through Self-Supervised Online Learning},
    BOOKTITLE = {Proceedings of Robotics: Science and Systems},
    YEAR      = {2006},
    ADDRESS   = {Philadelphia, USA},
    MONTH     = {August},
    DOI       = {10.15607/RSS.2006.II.004}