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Authors:Yuezhan Tao, Eran Iceland, Beiming Li, Elchanan Zwecher, Uri Heinemann, Avraham Cohen, Amir Avni, Oren Gal, Ariel Barel, Vijay Kumar

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Abstract:In this paper, we address the challenge of exploring unknown indoor aerial environments using autonomous aerial robots with Size Weight and Power (SWaP) constraints. The SWaP constraints induce limits on mission time requiring efficiency in exploration. We present a novel exploration framework that uses Deep Learning (DL) to predict the most likely indoor map given the previous observations, and Deep Reinforcement Learning (DRL) for exploration, designed to run on modern SWaP constraints neural processors. The DL-based map predictor provides a prediction of the occupancy of the unseen environment while the DRL-based planner determines the best navigation goals that can be safely reached to provide the most information. The two modules are tightly coupled and run onboard allowing the vehicle to safely map an unknown environment. Extensive experimental and simulation results show that our approach surpasses state-of-the-art methods by 50-60% in efficiency, which we measure by the fraction of the explored space as a function of the length of the trajectory traveled.

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Abstract:An important variant of the classic Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) is the Dynamic TSP, in which a system with dynamic constraints is tasked with visiting a set of n target locations (in any order) in the shortest amount of time. Such tasks arise naturally in many robotic motion planning problems, particularly in exploration, surveillance and reconnaissance, and classical TSP algorithms on graphs are typically inapplicable in this setting. An important question about such problems is: if the target points are random, what is the length of the tour (either in expectation or as a concentration bound) as n grows? This problem is the Dynamic Stochastic TSP (DSTSP), and has been studied both for specific important vehicle models and for general dynamic systems; however, in general only the order of growth is known. In this work, we explore the connection between the distribution from which the targets are drawn and the dynamics of the system, yielding a more precise lower bound on tour length as well as a matching upper bound for the case of symmetric (or driftless) systems. We then extend the symmetric dynamics results to the case when the points are selected by a (non-random) adversary whose goal is to maximize the length, thus showing worst-case bounds on the tour length.

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Abstract:We suggest the first system that runs real-time semantic segmentation via deep learning on a weak micro-computer such as the Raspberry Pi Zero v2 (whose price was \$15) attached to a toy-drone. In particular, since the Raspberry Pi weighs less than $16$ grams, and its size is half of a credit card, we could easily attach it to the common commercial DJI Tello toy-drone (<\$100, <90 grams, 98 $\times$ 92.5 $\times$ 41 mm). The result is an autonomous drone (no laptop nor human in the loop) that can detect and classify objects in real-time from a video stream of an on-board monocular RGB camera (no GPS or LIDAR sensors). The companion videos demonstrate how this Tello drone scans the lab for people (e.g. for the use of firefighters or security forces) and for an empty parking slot outside the lab. Existing deep learning solutions are either much too slow for real-time computation on such IoT devices, or provide results of impractical quality. Our main challenge was to design a system that takes the best of all worlds among numerous combinations of networks, deep learning platforms/frameworks, compression techniques, and compression ratios. To this end, we provide an efficient searching algorithm that aims to find the optimal combination which results in the best tradeoff between the network running time and its accuracy/performance.

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Abstract:The challenge of mapping indoor environments is addressed. Typical heuristic algorithms for solving the motion planning problem are frontier-based methods, that are especially effective when the environment is completely unknown. However, in cases where prior statistical data on the environment's architectonic features is available, such algorithms can be far from optimal. Furthermore, their calculation time may increase substantially as more areas are exposed. In this paper we propose two means by which to overcome these shortcomings. One is the use of deep reinforcement learning to train the motion planner. The second is the inclusion of a pre-trained generative deep neural network, acting as a map predictor. Each one helps to improve the decision making through use of the learned structural statistics of the environment, and both, being realized as neural networks, ensure a constant calculation time. We show that combining the two methods can shorten the mapping time, compared to frontier-based motion planning, by up to 75%.

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Abstract:We present a novel global compression framework for deep neural networks that automatically analyzes each layer to identify the optimal per-layer compression ratio, while simultaneously achieving the desired overall compression. Our algorithm hinges on the idea of compressing each convolutional (or fully-connected) layer by slicing its channels into multiple groups and decomposing each group via low-rank decomposition. At the core of our algorithm is the derivation of layer-wise error bounds from the Eckart Young Mirsky theorem. We then leverage these bounds to frame the compression problem as an optimization problem where we wish to minimize the maximum compression error across layers and propose an efficient algorithm towards a solution. Our experiments indicate that our method outperforms existing low-rank compression approaches across a wide range of networks and data sets. We believe that our results open up new avenues for future research into the global performance-size trade-offs of modern neural networks. Our code is available at https://github.com/lucaslie/torchprune.

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