Benchmarking Metric Ground Navigation

08/31/2020
by   Daniel Perille, et al.
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Metric ground navigation addresses the problem of autonomously moving a robot from one point to another in an obstacle-occupied planar environment in a collision-free manner. It is one of the most fundamental capabilities of intelligent mobile robots. This paper presents a standardized testbed with a set of environments and metrics to benchmark difficulty of different scenarios and performance of different systems of metric ground navigation. Current benchmarks focus on individual components of mobile robot navigation, such as perception and state estimation, but the navigation performance as a whole is rarely measured in a systematic and standardized fashion. As a result, navigation systems are usually tested and compared in an ad hoc manner, such as in one or two manually chosen environments. The introduced benchmark provides a general testbed for ground robot navigation in a metric world. The dataset includes 300 navigation environments, which are ordered by a set of difficulty metrics. Navigation performance can be tested and compared in those environments in a systematic and objective fashion. This benchmark can be used to predict navigation difficulty of a new environment, compare navigation systems, and potentially serve as a cost function and a curriculum for planning-based and learning-based navigation systems. We have published our dataset and the source code to generate datasets for different robot footprints at www.cs.utexas.edu/ attruong/metrics_dataset.html.

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