We propose a robust gesture-based communication pipeline for divers to instruct an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) to assist them in performing high-risk tasks and helping in case of emergency. A gesture communication language (CADDIAN) is developed, based on consolidated and standardized diver gestures, including an alphabet, syntax and semantics, ensuring a logical consistency. A hierarchical classification approach is introduced for hand gesture recognition based on stereo imagery and multi-descriptor aggregation to specifically cope with underwater image artifacts, e.g. light backscatter or color attenuation. Once the classification task is finished, a syntax check is performed to filter out invalid command sequences sent by the diver or generated by errors in the classifier. Throughout this process, the diver receives constant feedback from an underwater tablet to acknowledge or abort the mission at any time. The objective is to prevent the AUV from executing unnecessary, infeasible or potentially harmful motions. Experimental results under different environmental conditions in archaeological exploration and bridge inspection applications show that the system performs well in the field.
* Workshop on Human-Aiding Robotics. International Conference on
Intelligent Robots and Systems 2018 (IROS)
Deep-sea robot operations demand a high level of safety, efficiency and reliability. As a consequence, measures within the development stage have to be implemented to extensively evaluate and benchmark system components ranging from data acquisition, perception and localization to control. We present an approach based on high-fidelity simulation that embeds spatial and environmental conditions from recorded real-world data. This simulation in the loop (SIL) methodology allows for mitigating the discrepancy between simulation and real-world conditions, e.g. regarding sensor noise. As a result, this work provides a platform to thoroughly investigate and benchmark behaviors of system components concurrently under real and simulated conditions. The conducted evaluation shows the benefit of the proposed work in tasks related to perception and self-localization under changing spatial and environmental conditions.
* 2018 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and
Systems (IROS), Madrid, Spain * published on IROS 2018