Category Archives: Semantic Maps For Robots

Interesting approach to PF-based localization and active localization when the map contains semantic information

Nikolay Atanasov, Menglong Zhu, Kostas Daniilidis, and George J. Pappas, Localization from semantic observations via the matrix permanent, The International Journal of Robotics Research January–March 2016 35: 73-99, first published on October 6, 2015, DOI: 10.1177/0278364915596589.

Most approaches to robot localization rely on low-level geometric features such as points, lines, and planes. In this paper, we use object recognition to obtain semantic information from the robot’s sensors and consider the task of localizing the robot within a prior map of landmarks, which are annotated with semantic labels. As object recognition algorithms miss detections and produce false alarms, correct data association between the detections and the landmarks on the map is central to the semantic localization problem. Instead of the traditional vector-based representation, we propose a sensor model, which encodes the semantic observations via random finite sets and enables a unified treatment of missed detections, false alarms, and data association. Our second contribution is to reduce the problem of computing the likelihood of a set-valued observation to the problem of computing a matrix permanent. It is this crucial transformation that allows us to solve the semantic localization problem with a polynomial-time approximation to the set-based Bayes filter. Finally, we address the active semantic localization problem, in which the observer’s trajectory is planned in order to improve the accuracy and efficiency of the localization process. The performance of our approach is demonstrated in simulation and in real environments using deformable-part-model-based object detectors. Robust global localization from semantic observations is demonstrated for a mobile robot, for the Project Tango phone, and on the KITTI visual odometry dataset. Comparisons are made with the traditional lidar-based geometric Monte Carlo localization.

A survey of semantic mapping for mobile robots

Ioannis Kostavelis, Antonios Gasteratos, 2015, Semantic mapping for mobile robotics tasks: A survey, Robotics and Autonomous Systems, Volume 66, April 2015, Pages 86-103, ISSN 0921-8890, DOI: 10.1016/j.robot.2014.12.006.

The evolution of contemporary mobile robotics has given thrust to a series of additional conjunct technologies. Of such is the semantic mapping, which provides an abstraction of space and a means for human\u2013robot communication. The recent introduction and evolution of semantic mapping motivated this survey, in which an explicit analysis of the existing methods is sought. The several algorithms are categorized according to their primary characteristics, namely scalability, inference model, temporal coherence and topological map usage. The applications involving semantic maps are also outlined in the work at hand, emphasizing on human interaction, knowledge representation and planning. The existence of publicly available validation datasets and benchmarking, suitable for the evaluation of semantic mapping techniques is also discussed in detail. Last, an attempt to address open issues and questions is also made.