Autonomous navigation of ground robots on uneven terrain is being considered in more and more tasks. However, uneven terrain will bring two problems to motion planning: how to assess the traversability of the terrain and how to cope with the dynamics model of the robot associated with the terrain. The trajectories generated by existing methods are often too conservative or cannot be tracked well by the controller since the second problem is not well solved. In this paper, we propose terrain pose mapping to describe the impact of terrain on the robot. With this mapping, we can obtain the SE(3) state of the robot on uneven terrain for a given state in SE(2). Then, based on it, we present a trajectory optimization framework for car-like robots on uneven terrain that can consider both of the above problems. The trajectories generated by our method conform to the dynamics model of the system without being overly conservative and yet able to be tracked well by the controller. We perform simulations and real-world experiments to validate the efficiency and trajectory quality of our algorithm.
Photoacoustic imaging (PAI) is a novel modality in biomedical imaging technology that combines the rich optical contrast with the deep penetration of ultrasound. To date, PAI technology has found applications in various biomedical fields. In this review, we present an overview of the emerging research frontiers on PAI plus other advanced technologies, named as PAI plus X, which includes but not limited to PAI plus treatment, PAI plus new circuits design, PAI plus accurate positioning system, PAI plus fast scanning systems, PAI plus novel ultrasound sensors, PAI plus advanced laser sources, PAI plus deep learning, and PAI plus other imaging modalities. We will discuss each technology's current state, technical advantages, and prospects for application, reported mostly in recent three years. Lastly, we discuss and summarize the challenges and potential future work in PAI plus X area.
Facial sketch synthesis (FSS) aims to generate a vivid sketch portrait from a given facial photo. Existing FSS methods merely rely on 2D representations of facial semantic or appearance. However, professional human artists usually use outlines or shadings to covey 3D geometry. Thus facial 3D geometry (e.g. depth map) is extremely important for FSS. Besides, different artists may use diverse drawing techniques and create multiple styles of sketches; but the style is globally consistent in a sketch. Inspired by such observations, in this paper, we propose a novel Human-Inspired Dynamic Adaptation (HIDA) method. Specially, we propose to dynamically modulate neuron activations based on a joint consideration of both facial 3D geometry and 2D appearance, as well as globally consistent style control. Besides, we use deformable convolutions at coarse-scales to align deep features, for generating abstract and distinct outlines. Experiments show that HIDA can generate high-quality sketches in multiple styles, and significantly outperforms previous methods, over a large range of challenging faces. Besides, HIDA allows precise style control of the synthesized sketch, and generalizes well to natural scenes and other artistic styles. Our code and results have been released online at: https://github.com/AiArt-HDU/HIDA.
Video-based scene graph generation (VidSGG) is an approach that aims to represent video content in a dynamic graph by identifying visual entities and their relationships. Due to the inherently biased distribution and missing annotations in the training data, current VidSGG methods have been found to perform poorly on less-represented predicates. In this paper, we propose an explicit solution to address this under-explored issue by supplementing missing predicates that should be appear in the ground-truth annotations. Dubbed Trico, our method seeks to supplement the missing predicates by exploring three complementary spatio-temporal correlations. Guided by these correlations, the missing labels can be effectively supplemented thus achieving an unbiased predicate predictions. We validate the effectiveness of Trico on the most widely used VidSGG datasets, i.e., VidVRD and VidOR. Extensive experiments demonstrate the state-of-the-art performance achieved by Trico, particularly on those tail predicates.
Photoacoustic imaging (PAI) has been applied to many biomedical applications over the past decades. However, the received PA signal usually suffers from poor signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Conventional solution of employing higher-power laser, or doing long-time signal averaging, may raise the system cost, time consumption, and tissue damage. Another strategy is de-noising algorithm design. In this paper, we propose a new de-noising method, termed gradient-based adaptive wavelet de-noising, which sets the energy gradient mutation point of low-frequency wavelet components as the threshold. We conducted simulation, ex vivo and in vivo experiments to validate the performance of the algorithm. The quality of de-noised PA image/signal by our proposed algorithm has improved by 20%-40%, in comparison to the traditional signal denoising algorithms, which produces better contrast and clearer details. The proposed de-noising method provides potential to improve the SNR of PA signal under single-shot low-power laser illumination for biomedical applications in vivo.
Colorectal cancer is a deadly disease that has become increasingly prevalent in recent years. Early detection is crucial for saving lives, but traditional diagnostic methods such as colonoscopy and biopsy have limitations. Colonoscopy cannot provide detailed information within the tissues affected by cancer, while biopsy involves tissue removal, which can be painful and invasive. In order to improve diagnostic efficiency and reduce patient suffering, we studied machine-learningbased approach for colorectal tissue classification that uses acoustic resolution photoacoustic microscopy (ARPAM). With this tool, we were able to classify benign and malignant tissue using multiple machine learning methods. Our results were analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively to evaluate the effectiveness of our approach.
Tractography traces the peak directions extracted from fiber orientation distribution (FOD) suffering from ambiguous spatial correspondences between diffusion directions and fiber geometry, which is prone to producing erroneous tracks while missing true positive connections. The peaks-based tractography methods 'locally' reconstructed streamlines in 'single to single' manner, thus lacking of global information about the trend of the whole fiber bundle. In this work, we propose a novel tractography method based on a bundle-specific tractogram distribution function by using a higher-order streamline differential equation, which reconstructs the streamline bundles in 'cluster to cluster' manner. A unified framework for any higher-order streamline differential equation is presented to describe the fiber bundles with disjoint streamlines defined based on the diffusion tensor vector field. At the global level, the tractography process is simplified as the estimation of bundle-specific tractogram distribution (BTD) coefficients by minimizing the energy optimization model, and is used to characterize the relations between BTD and diffusion tensor vector under the prior guidance by introducing the tractogram bundle information to provide anatomic priors. Experiments are performed on simulated Hough, Sine, Circle data, ISMRM 2015 Tractography Challenge data, FiberCup data, and in vivo data from the Human Connectome Project (HCP) data for qualitative and quantitative evaluation. The results demonstrate that our approach can reconstruct the complex global fiber bundles directly. BTD reduces the error deviation and accumulation at the local level and shows better results in reconstructing long-range, twisting, and large fanning tracts.
For letting mobile robots travel flexibly through complicated environments, increasing attention has been paid to the whole-body collision evaluation. Most existing works either opt for the conservative corridor-based methods that impose strict requirements on the corridor generation, or ESDF-based methods that suffer from high computational overhead. It is still a great challenge to achieve fast and accurate whole-body collision evaluation. In this paper, we propose a Robo-centric ESDF (RC-ESDF) that is pre-built in the robot body frame and is capable of seamlessly applied to any-shape mobile robots, even for those with non-convex shapes. RC-ESDF enjoys lazy collision evaluation, which retains only the minimum information sufficient for whole-body safety constraint and significantly speeds up trajectory optimization. Based on the analytical gradients provided by RC-ESDF, we optimize the position and rotation of robot jointly, with whole-body safety, smoothness, and dynamical feasibility taken into account. Extensive simulation and real-world experiments verified the reliability and generalizability of our method.
In recent years, there is a noteworthy advancement in autonomous drone racing. However, the primary focus is on attaining execution times, while scant attention is given to the challenges of dynamic environments. The high-speed nature of racing scenarios, coupled with the potential for unforeseeable environmental alterations, present stringent requirements for online replanning and its timeliness. For racing in dynamic environments, we propose an online replanning framework with an efficient polynomial trajectory representation. We trade off between aggressive speed and flexible obstacle avoidance based on an optimization approach. Additionally, to ensure safety and precision when crossing intermediate racing waypoints, we formulate the demand as hard constraints during planning. For dynamic obstacles, parallel multi-topology trajectory planning is designed based on engineering considerations to prevent racing time loss due to local optimums. The framework is integrated into a quadrotor system and successfully demonstrated at the DJI Robomaster Intelligent UAV Championship, where it successfully complete the racing track and placed first, finishing in less than half the time of the second-place.
Photoacoustic tomography (PAT) is a newly emerged imaging modality which enables both high optical contrast and acoustic depth of penetration. Reconstructing images of photoacoustic tomography from limited amount of senser data is among one of the major challenges in photoacoustic imaging. Previous works based on deep learning were trained in supervised fashion, which directly map the input partially known sensor data to the ground truth reconstructed from full field of view. Recently, score-based generative models played an increasingly significant role in generative modeling. Leveraging this probabilistic model, we proposed Rotation Consistency Constrained Score-based Generative Model (RCC-SGM), which recovers the PAT images by iterative sampling between Langevin dynamics and a constraint term utilizing the rotation consistency between the images and the measurements. Our proposed method can generalize to different measurement processes (32.29 PSNR with 16 measurements under random sampling, whereas 28.50 for supervised counterpart), while supervised methods need to train on specific inverse mappings.