Dense Incremental Metric-Semantic Mapping for Multi-Agent Systems via Sparse Gaussian Process Regression

03/30/2021
by   Ehsan Zobeidi, et al.
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We develop an online probabilistic metric-semantic mapping approach for mobile robot teams relying on streaming RGB-D observations. The generated maps contain full continuous distributional information about the geometric surfaces and semantic labels (e.g., chair, table, wall). Our approach is based on online Gaussian Process (GP) training and inference, and avoids the complexity of GP classification by regressing a truncated signed distance function (TSDF) of the regions occupied by different semantic classes. Online regression is enabled through a sparse pseudo-point approximation of the GP posterior. To scale to large environments, we further consider spatial domain partitioning via an octree data structure with overlapping leaves. An extension to the multi-robot setting is developed by having each robot execute its own online measurement update and then combine its posterior parameters via local weighted geometric averaging with those of its neighbors. This yields a distributed information processing architecture in which the GP map estimates of all robots converge to a common map of the environment while relying only on local one-hop communication. Our experiments demonstrate the effectiveness of the probabilistic metric-semantic mapping technique in 2-D and 3-D environments in both single and multi-robot settings.

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