Tracking the object 6-DoF pose is crucial for various downstream robot tasks and real-world applications. In this paper, we investigate the real-world robot task of aerial vision guidance for aerial robotics manipulation, utilizing category-level 6-DoF pose tracking. Aerial conditions inevitably introduce special challenges, such as rapid viewpoint changes in pitch and roll and inter-frame differences. To support these challenges in task, we firstly introduce a robust category-level 6-DoF pose tracker (Robust6DoF). This tracker leverages shape and temporal prior knowledge to explore optimal inter-frame keypoint pairs, generated under a priori structural adaptive supervision in a coarse-to-fine manner. Notably, our Robust6DoF employs a Spatial-Temporal Augmentation module to deal with the problems of the inter-frame differences and intra-class shape variations through both temporal dynamic filtering and shape-similarity filtering. We further present a Pose-Aware Discrete Servo strategy (PAD-Servo), serving as a decoupling approach to implement the final aerial vision guidance task. It contains two servo action policies to better accommodate the structural properties of aerial robotics manipulation. Exhaustive experiments on four well-known public benchmarks demonstrate the superiority of our Robust6DoF. Real-world tests directly verify that our Robust6DoF along with PAD-Servo can be readily used in real-world aerial robotic applications.
Neural implicit scene representations have recently shown encouraging results in dense visual SLAM. However, existing methods produce low-quality scene reconstruction and low-accuracy localization performance when scaling up to large indoor scenes and long sequences. These limitations are mainly due to their single, global radiance field with finite capacity, which does not adapt to large scenarios. Their end-to-end pose networks are also not robust enough with the growth of cumulative errors in large scenes. To this end, we present PLGSLAM, a neural visual SLAM system which performs high-fidelity surface reconstruction and robust camera tracking in real time. To handle large-scale indoor scenes, PLGSLAM proposes a progressive scene representation method which dynamically allocates new local scene representation trained with frames within a local sliding window. This allows us to scale up to larger indoor scenes and improves robustness (even under pose drifts). In local scene representation, PLGSLAM utilizes tri-planes for local high-frequency features. We also incorporate multi-layer perceptron (MLP) networks for the low-frequency feature, smoothness, and scene completion in unobserved areas. Moreover, we propose local-to-global bundle adjustment method with a global keyframe database to address the increased pose drifts on long sequences. Experimental results demonstrate that PLGSLAM achieves state-of-the-art scene reconstruction results and tracking performance across various datasets and scenarios (both in small and large-scale indoor environments). The code will be open-sourced upon paper acceptance.
Implicit neural representation has demonstrated promising results in view synthesis for large and complex scenes. However, existing approaches either fail to capture the fast-moving objects or need to build the scene graph without camera ego-motions, leading to low-quality synthesized views of the scene. We aim to jointly solve the view synthesis problem of large-scale urban scenes and fast-moving vehicles, which is more practical and challenging. To this end, we first leverage a graph structure to learn the local scene representations of dynamic objects and the background. Then, we design a progressive scheme that dynamically allocates a new local scene graph trained with frames within a temporal window, allowing us to scale up the representation to an arbitrarily large scene. Besides, the training views of urban scenes are relatively sparse, which leads to a significant decline in reconstruction accuracy for dynamic objects. Therefore, we design a frequency auto-encoder network to encode the latent code and regularize the frequency range of objects, which can enhance the representation of dynamic objects and address the issue of sparse image inputs. Additionally, we employ lidar point projection to maintain geometry consistency in large-scale urban scenes. Experimental results demonstrate that our method achieves state-of-the-art view synthesis accuracy, object manipulation, and scene roaming ability. The code will be open-sourced upon paper acceptance.
Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) is moving towards a robust perception age. However, LiDAR- and visual- SLAM may easily fail in adverse conditions (rain, snow, smoke and fog, etc.). In comparison, SLAM based on 4D Radar, thermal camera and IMU can work robustly. But only a few literature can be found. A major reason is the lack of related datasets, which seriously hinders the research. Even though some datasets are proposed based on 4D radar in past four years, they are mainly designed for object detection, rather than SLAM. Furthermore, they normally do not include thermal camera. Therefore, in this paper, NTU4DRadLM is presented to meet this requirement. The main characteristics are: 1) It is the only dataset that simultaneously includes all 6 sensors: 4D radar, thermal camera, IMU, 3D LiDAR, visual camera and RTK GPS. 2) Specifically designed for SLAM tasks, which provides fine-tuned ground truth odometry and intentionally formulated loop closures. 3) Considered both low-speed robot platform and fast-speed unmanned vehicle platform. 4) Covered structured, unstructured and semi-structured environments. 5) Considered both middle- and large- scale outdoor environments, i.e., the 6 trajectories range from 246m to 6.95km. 6) Comprehensively evaluated three types of SLAM algorithms. Totally, the dataset is around 17.6km, 85mins, 50GB and it will be accessible from this link: https://github.com/junzhang2016/NTU4DRadLM
* 2023 IEEE International Intelligent Transportation Systems Conference
Accurate and robust pose estimation is a fundamental capability for autonomous systems to navigate, map and perform tasks. Particularly, construction environments pose challenging problem to Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) algorithms due to sparsity, varying illumination conditions, and dynamic objects. Current academic research in SLAM is focused on developing more accurate and robust algorithms for example by fusing different sensor modalities. To help this research, we propose a new dataset, the Hilti SLAM Challenge Dataset. The sensor platform used to collect this dataset contains a number of visual, lidar and inertial sensors which have all been rigorously calibrated. All data is temporally aligned to support precise multi-sensor fusion. Each dataset includes accurate ground truth to allow direct testing of SLAM results. Raw data as well as intrinsic and extrinsic sensor calibration data from twelve datasets in various environments is provided. Each environment represents common scenarios found in building construction sites in various stages of completion.
Large-scale visual place recognition (VPR) is inherently challenging because not all visual cues in the image are beneficial to the task. In order to highlight the task-relevant visual cues in the feature embedding, the existing attention mechanisms are either based on artificial rules or trained in a thorough data-driven manner. To fill the gap between the two types, we propose a novel Semantic Reinforced Attention Learning Network (SRALNet), in which the inferred attention can benefit from both semantic priors and data-driven fine-tuning. The contribution lies in two-folds. (1) To suppress misleading local features, an interpretable local weighting scheme is proposed based on hierarchical feature distribution. (2) By exploiting the interpretability of the local weighting scheme, a semantic constrained initialization is proposed so that the local attention can be reinforced by semantic priors. Experiments demonstrate that our method outperforms state-of-the-art techniques on city-scale VPR benchmark datasets.
Most of the existing mobile robot localization solutions are either heavily dependent on pre-installed infrastructures or having difficulty working in highly repetitive environments which do not have sufficient unique features. To address this problem, we propose a magnetic-assisted initialization approach that enhances the performance of infrastructure-free mobile robot localization in repetitive featureless environments. The proposed system adopts a coarse-to-fine structure, which mainly consists of two parts: magnetic field-based matching and laser scan matching. Firstly, the interpolated magnetic field map is built and the initial pose of the mobile robot is partly determined by the k-Nearest Neighbors (k-NN) algorithm. Next, with the fusion of prior initial pose information, the robot is localized by laser scan matching more accurately and efficiently. In our experiment, the mobile robot was successfully localized in a featureless rectangular corridor with a success rate of 88% and an average correct localization time of 6.6 seconds.