Audio-Visual Self-Supervised Terrain Type Discovery for Mobile Platforms [article]

Akiyoshi Kurobe, Yoshikatsu Nakajima, Hideo Saito, Kris Kitani
2020 arXiv   pre-print
The ability to both recognize and discover terrain characteristics is an important function required for many autonomous ground robots such as social robots, assistive robots, autonomous vehicles, and ground exploration robots. Recognizing and discovering terrain characteristics is challenging because similar terrains may have very different appearances (e.g., carpet comes in many colors), while terrains with very similar appearance may have very different physical properties (e.g. mulch versus
more » ... dirt). In order to address the inherent ambiguity in vision-based terrain recognition and discovery, we propose a multi-modal self-supervised learning technique that switches between audio features extracted from a mic attached to the underside of a mobile platform and image features extracted by a camera on the platform to cluster terrain types. The terrain cluster labels are then used to train an image-based convolutional neural network to predict changes in terrain types. Through experiments, we demonstrate that the proposed self-supervised terrain type discovery method achieves over 80% accuracy, which greatly outperforms several baselines and suggests strong potential for assistive applications.
arXiv:2010.06318v1 fatcat:25rhvy3tlncdpbpyc5y4vmuiay