Vision-Based Mobile Robotics Obstacle Avoidance With Deep Reinforcement Learning

03/08/2021 ∙ by Patrick Wenzel, et al. ∙ 7

Obstacle avoidance is a fundamental and challenging problem for autonomous navigation of mobile robots. In this paper, we consider the problem of obstacle avoidance in simple 3D environments where the robot has to solely rely on a single monocular camera. In particular, we are interested in solving this problem without relying on localization, mapping, or planning techniques. Most of the existing work consider obstacle avoidance as two separate problems, namely obstacle detection, and control. Inspired by the recent advantages of deep reinforcement learning in Atari games and understanding highly complex situations in Go, we tackle the obstacle avoidance problem as a data-driven end-to-end deep learning approach. Our approach takes raw images as input and generates control commands as output. We show that discrete action spaces are outperforming continuous control commands in terms of expected average reward in maze-like environments. Furthermore, we show how to accelerate the learning and increase the robustness of the policy by incorporating predicted depth maps by a generative adversarial network.

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