Multi-Modal Loop Closing in Unstructured Planetary Environments with Visually Enriched Submaps

Riccardo Giubilato, Mallikarjuna Vayugundla, Wolfgang Sturzl, Martin J. Schuster, Armin Wedler, Rudolph Triebel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Future planetary missions will rely on rovers that can autonomously explore and navigate in unstructured environments. An essential element is the ability to recognize places that were already visited or mapped. In this work, we leverage the ability of stereo cameras to provide both visual and depth information, guiding the search and validation of loop closures from a multi-modal perspective. We propose to augment submaps that are created by aggregating stereo point clouds, with visual keyframes. Point clouds matches are found by comparing CSHOT descriptors and validated by clustering, while visual matches are established by comparing keyframes using Bag-of-Words (BoW) and ORB descriptors. The relative transformations resulting from both keyframe and point cloud matches are then fused to provide pose constraints between submaps in our graph-based SLAM framework. Using the LRU rover, we performed several tests in both an indoor laboratory environment as well as a challenging planetary analog environment on Mount Etna, Italy, consisting of areas where either keyframes or point clouds alone failed to provide adequate matches demonstrating the benefit of the proposed multi-modal approach.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2021
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages8758-8765
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781665417143
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes
Event2021 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2021 - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 27 Sep 20211 Oct 2021

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
ISSN (Print)2153-0858
ISSN (Electronic)2153-0866

Conference

Conference2021 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2021
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic
CityPrague
Period27/09/211/10/21

Keywords

  • Localization
  • Multi-modal Perception
  • Space Robotics and Automation

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