Pose graph relaxation has become an indispensable addition to SLAM enabling efficient global registration of sensor reference frames under the objective of satisfying pair-wise relative transformation constraints. The latter may be given by incremental motion estimation or global place recognition. While the latter case enables loop closures and drift compensation, care has to be taken in the monocular case in which local estimates of structure and displacements can differ from reality not just in terms of noise, but also in terms of a scale factor. Owing to the accumulation of scale propagation errors, this scale factor is drifting over time, hence scale-drift aware pose graph relaxation has been introduced. We extend this idea to cases in which the relative scale between subsequent sensor frames is unknown, a situation that can easily occur if monocular SLAM enters re-initialization and no reliable overlap between successive local maps can be identified. The approach is realized by a hybrid pose graph formulation that combines the regular similarity consistency terms with novel, scale-blind constraints. We apply the technique to the practically relevant case of small indoor service robots capable of effectuating purely rotational displacements, a condition that can easily cause tracking failures. We demonstrate that globally consistent trajectories can be recovered even if multiple re-initializations occur along the loop, and present an in-depth study of success and failure cases.
We present a novel approach for relocalization or place recognition, a fundamental problem to be solved in many robotics, automation, and AR applications. Rather than relying on often unstable appearance information, we consider a situation in which the reference map is given in the form of localized objects. Our localization framework relies on 3D semantic object detections, which are then associated to objects in the map. Possible pair-wise association sets are grown based on hierarchical clustering using a merge metric that evaluates spatial compatibility. The latter notably uses information about relative object configurations, which is invariant with respect to global transformations. Association sets are furthermore updated and expanded as the camera incrementally explores the environment and detects further objects. We test our algorithm in several challenging situations including dynamic scenes, large view-point changes, and scenes with repeated instances. Our experiments demonstrate that our approach outperforms prior art in terms of both robustness and accuracy.