Active Exploration for Robust Object Detection
Javier Velez, Garrett Hemann, Albert S. Huang, Ingmar Posner, Nicholas Roy
Today, mobile robots are increasingly expected to operate in ever more complex and dynamic environments. In order to carry out many of the higher-level tasks envisioned a semantic understanding of a workspace is pivotal. Here our field has benefited significantly from successes in machine learning and vision: applications in robotics of off-the-shelf object detectors are plentiful. This paper outlines an online, any-time planning framework enabling the active exploration of such detections. Our approach exploits the ability to move to different vantage points and implicitly weighs the benefits of gaining more certainty about the existence of an object against the physical cost of the exploration required. The result is a robot which plans trajectories specifically to decrease the entropy of putative detections. Our system is demonstrated to significantly improve detection performance and trajectory length in simulated and real robot experiments.