A Segment-Wise Gaussian Process-Based Ground Segmentation With Local Smoothness Estimation

by   Pouria Mehrabi, et al.

Both in terrestrial and extraterrestrial environments, the precise and informative model of the ground and the surface ahead is crucial for navigation and obstacle avoidance. The ground surface is not always flat and it may be sloped, bumpy and rough specially in off-road terrestrial scenes. In bumpy and rough scenes the functional relationship of the surface-related features may vary in different areas of the ground, as the structure of the ground surface may vary suddenly and further the measured point cloud of the ground does not bear smoothness. Thus, the ground-related features must be obtained based on local estimates or even point estimates. To tackle this problem, the segment-wise GP-based ground segmentation method with local smoothness estimation is proposed. This method is an extension to our previous method in which a realistic measurement of the length-scale values were provided for the covariance kernel in each line-segment to give precise estimation of the ground for sloped terrains. In this extension, the value of the length-scale is estimated locally for each data point which makes it much more precise for the rough scenes while being not computationally complex and more robust to under-segmentation, sparsity and under-represent-ability. The segment-wise task is performed to estimate a partial continuous model of the ground for each radial range segment. Simulation results show the effectiveness of the proposed method to give a continuous and precise estimation of the ground surface in rough and bumpy scenes while being fast enough for real-world applications.


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