Accurate grasping is the key to several robotic tasks including assembly and household robotics. Executing a successful grasp in a cluttered environment requires multiple levels of scene understanding: First, the robot needs to analyze the geometric properties of individual objects to find feasible grasps. These grasps need to be compliant with the local object geometry. Second, for each proposed grasp, the robot needs to reason about the interactions with other objects in the scene. Finally, the robot must compute a collision-free grasp trajectory while taking into account the geometry of the target object. Most grasp detection algorithms directly predict grasp poses in a monolithic fashion, which does not capture the composability of the environment. In this paper, we introduce an end-to-end architecture for object-centric grasping. The method uses pointcloud data from a single arbitrary viewing direction as an input and generates an instance-centric representation for each partially observed object in the scene. This representation is further used for object reconstruction and grasp detection in cluttered table-top scenes. We show the effectiveness of the proposed method by extensively evaluating it against state-of-the-art methods on synthetic datasets, indicating superior performance for grasping and reconstruction. Additionally, we demonstrate real-world applicability by decluttering scenes with varying numbers of objects.
We introduce an improved solution to the neural image-based rendering problem in computer vision. Given a set of images taken from a freely moving camera at train time, the proposed approach could synthesize a realistic image of the scene from a novel viewpoint at test time. The key ideas presented in this paper are (i) Recovering accurate camera parameters via a robust pipeline from unposed day-to-day images is equally crucial in neural novel view synthesis problem; (ii) It is rather more practical to model object's content at different resolutions since dramatic camera motion is highly likely in day-to-day unposed images. To incorporate the key ideas, we leverage the fundamentals of scene rigidity, multi-scale neural scene representation, and single-image depth prediction. Concretely, the proposed approach makes the camera parameters as learnable in a neural fields-based modeling framework. By assuming per view depth prediction is given up to scale, we constrain the relative pose between successive frames. From the relative poses, absolute camera pose estimation is modeled via a graph-neural network-based multiple motion averaging within the multi-scale neural-fields network, leading to a single loss function. Optimizing the introduced loss function provides camera intrinsic, extrinsic, and image rendering from unposed images. We demonstrate, with examples, that for a unified framework to accurately model multiscale neural scene representation from day-to-day acquired unposed multi-view images, it is equally essential to have precise camera-pose estimates within the scene representation framework. Without considering robustness measures in the camera pose estimation pipeline, modeling for multi-scale aliasing artifacts can be counterproductive. We present extensive experiments on several benchmark datasets to demonstrate the suitability of our approach.
* Accepted for publication at International Journal of Computer Vision
(IJCV). Draft info: 22 pages, 12 figures and 14 tables
Object goal navigation is an important problem in Embodied AI that involves guiding the agent to navigate to an instance of the object category in an unknown environment -- typically an indoor scene. Unfortunately, current state-of-the-art methods for this problem rely heavily on data-driven approaches, \eg, end-to-end reinforcement learning, imitation learning, and others. Moreover, such methods are typically costly to train and difficult to debug, leading to a lack of transferability and explainability. Inspired by recent successes in combining classical and learning methods, we present a modular and training-free solution, which embraces more classic approaches, to tackle the object goal navigation problem. Our method builds a structured scene representation based on the classic visual simultaneous localization and mapping (V-SLAM) framework. We then inject semantics into geometric-based frontier exploration to reason about promising areas to search for a goal object. Our structured scene representation comprises a 2D occupancy map, semantic point cloud, and spatial scene graph. Our method propagates semantics on the scene graphs based on language priors and scene statistics to introduce semantic knowledge to the geometric frontiers. With injected semantic priors, the agent can reason about the most promising frontier to explore. The proposed pipeline shows strong experimental performance for object goal navigation on the Gibson benchmark dataset, outperforming the previous state-of-the-art. We also perform comprehensive ablation studies to identify the current bottleneck in the object navigation task.
* Accepted by/To be published in Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS)
2023; 11 pages, 5 figures
Visual Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (vSLAM) is a widely used technique in robotics and computer vision that enables a robot to create a map of an unfamiliar environment using a camera sensor while simultaneously tracking its position over time. In this paper, we propose a novel RGBD vSLAM algorithm that can learn a memory-efficient, dense 3D geometry, and semantic segmentation of an indoor scene in an online manner. Our pipeline combines classical 3D vision-based tracking and loop closing with neural fields-based mapping. The mapping network learns the SDF of the scene as well as RGB, depth, and semantic maps of any novel view using only a set of keyframes. Additionally, we extend our pipeline to large scenes by using multiple local mapping networks. Extensive experiments on well-known benchmark datasets confirm that our approach provides robust tracking, mapping, and semantic labeling even with noisy, sparse, or no input depth. Overall, our proposed algorithm can greatly enhance scene perception and assist with a range of robot control problems.
This paper proposes a quantum computing-based algorithm to solve the single image super-resolution (SISR) problem. One of the well-known classical approaches for SISR relies on the well-established patch-wise sparse modeling of the problem. Yet, this field's current state of affairs is that deep neural networks (DNNs) have demonstrated far superior results than traditional approaches. Nevertheless, quantum computing is expected to become increasingly prominent for machine learning problems soon. As a result, in this work, we take the privilege to perform an early exploration of applying a quantum computing algorithm to this important image enhancement problem, i.e., SISR. Among the two paradigms of quantum computing, namely universal gate quantum computing and adiabatic quantum computing (AQC), the latter has been successfully applied to practical computer vision problems, in which quantum parallelism has been exploited to solve combinatorial optimization efficiently. This work demonstrates formulating quantum SISR as a sparse coding optimization problem, which is solved using quantum annealers accessed via the D-Wave Leap platform. The proposed AQC-based algorithm is demonstrated to achieve improved speed-up over a classical analog while maintaining comparable SISR accuracy.
* Accepted to IEEE/CVF CVPR 2023, NTIRE Challenge and Workshop. Draft
info: 10 pages, 6 Figures, 2 Tables
Neural-network-based single image depth prediction (SIDP) is a challenging task where the goal is to predict the scene's per-pixel depth at test time. Since the problem, by definition, is ill-posed, the fundamental goal is to come up with an approach that can reliably model the scene depth from a set of training examples. In the pursuit of perfect depth estimation, most existing state-of-the-art learning techniques predict a single scalar depth value per-pixel. Yet, it is well-known that the trained model has accuracy limits and can predict imprecise depth. Therefore, an SIDP approach must be mindful of the expected depth variations in the model's prediction at test time. Accordingly, we introduce an approach that performs continuous modeling of per-pixel depth, where we can predict and reason about the per-pixel depth and its distribution. To this end, we model per-pixel scene depth using a multivariate Gaussian distribution. Moreover, contrary to the existing uncertainty modeling methods -- in the same spirit, where per-pixel depth is assumed to be independent, we introduce per-pixel covariance modeling that encodes its depth dependency w.r.t all the scene points. Unfortunately, per-pixel depth covariance modeling leads to a computationally expensive continuous loss function, which we solve efficiently using the learned low-rank approximation of the overall covariance matrix. Notably, when tested on benchmark datasets such as KITTI, NYU, and SUN-RGB-D, the SIDP model obtained by optimizing our loss function shows state-of-the-art results. Our method's accuracy (named MG) is among the top on the KITTI depth-prediction benchmark leaderboard.
We introduce an approach to enhance the novel view synthesis from images taken from a freely moving camera. The introduced approach focuses on outdoor scenes where recovering accurate geometric scaffold and camera pose is challenging, leading to inferior results using the state-of-the-art stable view synthesis (SVS) method. SVS and related methods fail for outdoor scenes primarily due to (i) over-relying on the multiview stereo (MVS) for geometric scaffold recovery and (ii) assuming COLMAP computed camera poses as the best possible estimates, despite it being well-studied that MVS 3D reconstruction accuracy is limited to scene disparity and camera-pose accuracy is sensitive to key-point correspondence selection. This work proposes a principled way to enhance novel view synthesis solutions drawing inspiration from the basics of multiple view geometry. By leveraging the complementary behavior of MVS and monocular depth, we arrive at a better scene depth per view for nearby and far points, respectively. Moreover, our approach jointly refines camera poses with image-based rendering via multiple rotation averaging graph optimization. The recovered scene depth and the camera-pose help better view-dependent on-surface feature aggregation of the entire scene. Extensive evaluation of our approach on the popular benchmark dataset, such as Tanks and Temples, shows substantial improvement in view synthesis results compared to the prior art. For instance, our method shows 1.5 dB of PSNR improvement on the Tank and Temples. Similar statistics are observed when tested on other benchmark datasets such as FVS, Mip-NeRF 360, and DTU.
We introduce VA-DepthNet, a simple, effective, and accurate deep neural network approach for the single-image depth prediction (SIDP) problem. The proposed approach advocates using classical first-order variational constraints for this problem. While state-of-the-art deep neural network methods for SIDP learn the scene depth from images in a supervised setting, they often overlook the invaluable invariances and priors in the rigid scene space, such as the regularity of the scene. The paper's main contribution is to reveal the benefit of classical and well-founded variational constraints in the neural network design for the SIDP task. It is shown that imposing first-order variational constraints in the scene space together with popular encoder-decoder-based network architecture design provides excellent results for the supervised SIDP task. The imposed first-order variational constraint makes the network aware of the depth gradient in the scene space, i.e., regularity. The paper demonstrates the usefulness of the proposed approach via extensive evaluation and ablation analysis over several benchmark datasets, such as KITTI, NYU Depth V2, and SUN RGB-D. The VA-DepthNet at test time shows considerable improvements in depth prediction accuracy compared to the prior art and is accurate also at high-frequency regions in the scene space. At the time of writing this paper, our method -- labeled as VA-DepthNet, when tested on the KITTI depth-prediction evaluation set benchmarks, shows state-of-the-art results, and is the top-performing published approach.
* Accepted for publication at ICLR 2023 (Spotlight Oral Presentation).
Draft info: 21 pages, 13 tables, 8 figures