Skyline-based localisation for aggressively manoeuvring robots using UV sensors and spherical harmonics

T. Stone, D. Differt, M. Milford, B. Webb

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Place recognition is a key capability for navigating robots. While significant advances have been achieved on large, stable platforms such as robot cars, achieving robust performance on rapidly manoeuvring platforms in outdoor natural conditions remains a challenge, with few systems able to deal with both variable conditions and large tilt variations caused by rough terrain. Taking inspiration from biology, we propose a novel combination of sensory modality and image processing to obtain a significant improvement in the robustness of sequence-based image matching for place recognition. We use a UV-sensitive fisheye lens camera to segment sky from ground, providing illumination invariance, and encode the resulting binary images using spherical harmonics to enable rotation-invariant image matching. In combination, these methods also produce substantial pitch and roll invariance, as the spherical harmonics for the sky shape are minimally affected, providing the sky remains visible. We evaluate the performance of our method against a leading appearance-invariant technique (SeqSLAM) and a leading viewpoint-invariant technique (FAB-MAP 2.0) on three new outdoor datasets encompassing variable robot heading, tilt, and lighting conditions in both forested and urban environments. The system demonstrates improved condition- and tilt-invariance, enabling robust place recognition during aggressive zigzag manoeuvring along bumpy trails and at tilt angles of up to 60 degrees.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2016 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Pages5615-5622
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4673-8026-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016
Event2016 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation - Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: 16 May 201621 May 2016
https://www.icra2016.org/

Conference

Conference2016 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
Abbreviated titleICRA 2016
Country/TerritorySweden
CityStockholm
Period16/05/1621/05/16
Internet address

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