Task planning for mobile robots usually relies solely on spatial information and on shallow domain knowledge, like labels attached to objects and places. Although spatial information is necessary for performing basic robot operations (navigation and localization), the use of deeper domain knowledge is pivotal to endow a robot with higher degrees of autonomy and intelligence. In this paper, we focus on semantic knowledge, and show how this type of knowledge can be profitably used for robot task planning. We start by defining a specific type of semantic maps, which integrate hierarchical spatial information and semantic knowledge. We then proceed to describe how these semantic maps can improve task planning in two ways: extending the capabilities of the planner by reasoning about semantic information, and improving the planning efficiency in large domains. We show several experiments that demonstrate the effectiveness of our solutions in a domain involving robot navigation in a domestic environment.
This paper presents the Robot-at-Home dataset (Robot@Home), a collection of raw and processed sensory data from domestic settings aimed at serving as a benchmark for semantic mapping algorithms through the categorization of objects and/or rooms. The dataset contains 87,000+ time-stamped observations gathered by a mobile robot endowed with a rig of four RGB-D cameras and a 2D laser scanner. Raw observations have been processed to produce different outcomes also distributed with the dataset, including 3D reconstructions and 2D geometric maps of the inspected rooms, both annotated with the ground truth categories of the surveyed rooms and objects. The proposed dataset is particularly suited as a testbed for object and/or room categorization systems, but it can be also exploited for a variety of tasks, including robot localization, 3D map building, SLAM, and object segmentation. Robot@Home is publicly available for the research community at .
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