During the last decade, sampling-based path planning algorithms, such as Probabilistic RoadMaps (PRM) and Rapidly-exploring Random Trees (RRT), have been shown to work well in practice and possess theoretical guarantees such as probabilistic completeness. However, little effort has been devoted to the formal analysis of the quality of the solution returned by such algorithms, e.g., as a function of the number of samples. The purpose of this paper is to fill this gap, by rigorously analyzing the asymptotic behavior of the cost of the solution returned by stochastic sampling-based algorithms as the number of samples increases. A number of negative results are provided, characterizing existing algorithms, e.g., showing that, under mild technical conditions, the cost of the solution returned by broadly used sampling-based algorithms converges almost surely to a non-optimal value. The main contribution of the paper is the introduction of new algorithms, namely, PRM * and RRT * , which are provably asymptotically optimal, i.e., such that the cost of the returned solution converges almost surely to the optimum. Moreover, it is shown that the computational complexity of the new algorithms is within a constant factor of that of their probabilistically complete (but not asymptotically optimal) counterparts. The analysis in this paper hinges on novel connections between stochastic sampling-based path planning algorithms and the theory of random geometric graphs.
We consider the problem of dense depth prediction from a sparse set of depth measurements and a single RGB image. Since depth estimation from monocular images alone is inherently ambiguous and unreliable, to attain a higher level of robustness and accuracy, we introduce additional sparse depth samples, which are either acquired with a low-resolution depth sensor or computed via visual Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) algorithms. We propose the use of a single deep regression network to learn directly from the RGB-D raw data, and explore the impact of number of depth samples on prediction accuracy. Our experiments show that, compared to using only RGB images, the addition of 100 spatially random depth samples reduces the prediction root-mean-square error by 50% on the NYU-Depth-v2 indoor dataset. It also boosts the percentage of reliable prediction from 59% to 92% on the KITTI dataset. We demonstrate two applications of the proposed algorithm: a plug-in module in SLAM to convert sparse maps to dense maps, and super-resolution for LiDARs. Software 2 and video demonstration 3 are publicly available.
Depth completion, the technique of estimating a dense depth image from sparse depth measurements, has a variety of applications in robotics and autonomous driving. However, depth completion faces 3 main challenges: the irregularly spaced pattern in the sparse depth input, the difficulty in handling multiple sensor modalities (when color images are available), as well as the lack of dense, pixel-level ground truth depth labels. In this work, we address all these challenges. Specifically, we develop a deep regression model to learn a direct mapping from sparse depth (and color images) to dense depth. We also propose a self-supervised training framework that requires only sequences of color and sparse depth images, without the need for dense depth labels. Our experiments demonstrate that our network, when trained with semi-dense annotations, attains state-of-theart accuracy and is the winning approach on the KITTI depth completion benchmark 2 at the time of submission. Furthermore, the self-supervised framework outperforms a number of existing solutions trained with semidense annotations.
Abstract-This paper describes a real-time motion planning algorithm, based on the Rapidly-exploring Random Tree (RRT) approach, applicable to autonomous vehicles operating in an urban environment. Extensions to the standard RRT are predominantly motivated by: (i) the need to generate dynamically feasible plans in real-time, (ii) safety requirements, (iii) the constraints dictated by the uncertain operating (urban) environment. The primary novelty is in the use of closed-loop prediction in the framework of RRT. The proposed algorithm was at the core of the planning and control software for Team MIT's entry for the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge, where the vehicle demonstrated the ability to complete a 60 mile simulated military supply mission, while safely interacting with other autonomous and human driven vehicles.
Abstract-During the last decade, incremental sampling-based motion planning algorithms, such as the Rapidly-exploring Random Trees (RRTs), have been shown to work well in practice and to possess theoretical guarantees such as probabilistic completeness. However, no theoretical bounds on the quality of the solution obtained by these algorithms, e.g., in terms of a given cost function, have been established so far. The purpose of this paper is to fill this gap, by designing efficient incremental samplingbased algorithms with provable optimality properties. The first contribution of this paper is a negative result: it is proven that, under mild technical conditions, the cost of the best path returned by RRT converges almost surely to a non-optimal value, as the number of samples increases. Second, a new algorithm is considered, called the Rapidly-exploring Random Graph (RRG), and it is shown that the cost of the best path returned by RRG converges to the optimum almost surely. Third, a tree version of RRG is introduced, called RRT * , which preserves the asymptotic optimality of RRG while maintaining a tree structure like RRT. The analysis of the new algorithms hinges on novel connections between sampling-based motion planning algorithms and the theory of random geometric graphs. In terms of computational complexity, it is shown that the number of simple operations required by both the RRG and RRT * algorithms is asymptotically within a constant factor of that required by RRT.
The Rapidly-exploring Random Tree (RRT) algorithm, based on incremental sampling, efficiently computes motion plans. Although the RRT algorithm quickly produces candidate feasible solutions, it tends to converge to a solution that is far from optimal. Practical applications favor "anytime" algorithms that quickly identify an initial feasible plan, then, given more computation time available during plan execution, improve the plan toward an optimal solution. This paper describes an anytime algorithm based on the RRT * which (like the RRT) finds an initial feasible solution quickly, but (unlike the RRT) almost surely converges to an optimal solution. We present two key extensions to the RRT * , committed trajectories and branch-and-bound tree adaptation, that together enable the algorithm to make more efficient use of computation time online, resulting in an anytime algorithm for real-time implementation. We evaluate the method using a series of Monte Carlo runs in a high-fidelity simulation environment, and compare the operation of the RRT and RRT * methods. We also demonstrate experimental results for an outdoor wheeled robotic vehicle.
Depth sensing is a critical function for robotic tasks such as localization, mapping and obstacle detection. There has been a significant and growing interest in depth estimation from a single RGB image, due to the relatively low cost and size of monocular cameras. However, state-of-the-art single-view depth estimation algorithms are based on fairly complex deep neural networks that are too slow for real-time inference on an embedded platform, for instance, mounted on a micro aerial vehicle. In this paper, we address the problem of fast depth estimation on embedded systems. We propose an efficient and lightweight encoder-decoder network architecture and apply network pruning to further reduce computational complexity and latency. In particular, we focus on the design of a low-latency decoder. Our methodology demonstrates that it is possible to achieve similar accuracy as prior work on depth estimation, but at inference speeds that are an order of magnitude faster. Our proposed network, FastDepth, runs at 178 fps on an NVIDIA Jetson TX2 GPU and at 27 fps when using only the TX2 CPU, with active power consumption under 10 W. FastDepth achieves close to state-of-the-art accuracy on the NYU Depth v2 dataset. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this paper demonstrates real-time monocular depth estimation using a deep neural network with the lowest latency and highest throughput on an embedded platform that can be carried by a micro aerial vehicle.1 This throughput is achieved with a batch size of one and 32-bit floating point precision. Throughput can be increased by using a larger batch size (at the cost of higher latency), and/or reducing bitwidths through quantization.2 Accuracy metrics are defined in Section IV-A.
SignificanceWe present a framework that integrates social psychology tools into controller design for autonomous vehicles. Our key insight utilizes Social Value Orientation (SVO), quantifying an agent’s degree of selfishness or altruism, which allows us to better predict driver behavior. We model interactions between human and autonomous agents with game theory and the principle of best response. Our unified algorithm estimates driver SVOs and incorporates their predicted trajectories into the autonomous vehicle’s control while respecting safety constraints. We study common-yet-difficult traffic scenarios: highway merging and unprotected left turns. Incorporating SVO reduces error in predictions by 25%, validated on 92 human driving merges. Furthermore, we find that merging drivers are more competitive than nonmerging drivers.
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