Section: New Results
3D Scene Mapping
Structure from motion
Participants : Riccardo Spica, Paolo Robuffo Giordano, François Chaumette.
Structure from motion (SfM) is a classical and well-studied problem in computer and robot vision, and many solutions have been proposed to treat it as a recursive filtering/estimation task. However, the issue of actively optimizing the transient response of the SfM estimation error has not received a comparable attention. In the work  we have addressed the active estimation of the 3D structure of an observed planar scene by comparing three different techniques: a homography decomposition (a well-established method taken as a baseline), a least-square fitting of a reconstructed 3D point cloud, and a direct estimation based on the observation of a set of discrete image moments made of a collection of image points belonging to the observed plane. The experimental results confirmed the importance of actively controlling the camera motion in order to obtained a faster convergence for the estimation error, as well as the superiority of the third method based on the machinery of image moments for what concerns robustness against noise and outliers. In  the active estimation scheme has been improved by considering a set of features invariant to camera rotations. This way, the dynamics of the structure estimation becomes independent of the camera angular velocity whose measurement is, thus, no longer required for implementing the active SfM scheme. Finally, in  the issue of determining online the `best' combination of image moments for reconstructing the scene structure has been considered. By defining a new set of weighted moments as a weighted sum of traditional image moments, it is indeed possible to optimize for the weights online during the camera motion. The SfM scheme then automatically selects online the best combination of image moments to be used as measurements as a function of the current scene.
Scene Registration based on Planar Patches
Participants : Eduardo Fernandez Moral, Patrick Rives.
Scene registration consists of estimating the relative pose of a camera with respect to a scene previously observed. This problem is ubiquitous in robot localization and navigation. We propose a probabilistic framework to improve the accuracy and efficiency of a previous solution for structure registration based on planar representation. Our solution consists of matching graphs where the nodes represent planar patches and the edges describe geometric relationships. The maximum likelihood estimation of the registration is estimated by computing the graph similarity from a series of geometric properties (areas, angles, proximity, etc..) to maximize the global consistency of the graph. Our technique has been validated on different RGB-D sequences, both perspective and spherical  .
Robust RGB-D Image Registration
Participants : Tawsif Gokhool, Renato José Martins, Patrick Rives.
Estimating dense 3D maps from stereo sequences remains a challenging task where building compact and accurate scene models is relevant for a number of tasks, from localization and mapping to scene rendering  ,  . In this context, this work deals with generating complete geometric and photometric “minimal” model of indoor/outdoor large-scale scenes, which are stored within a sparse set of spherical images to asset photo-geometric consistence of the scene from multiple points-of-views . To this end, a probabilistic data association framework for outlier rejection is formulated, enhanced with the notion of landmark stability over time. The approach was evaluated within the frameworks of image registration, localization and mapping, demonstrating higher accuracy and larger convergence domains over different datasets  .
Accurate RGB-D Keyframe Representation of 3D Maps
Participants : Renato José Martins, Eduardo Fernandez Moral, Patrick Rives.
Keyframe-based maps are a standard solution to produce a compact map representation from a continuous sequence of images, with applications in robot localization, 3D reconstruction and place recognition. We have present a approach to improve keyframe-based maps of RGB-D images based on two main filtering stages: a regularization phase in which each depth image is corrected considering both geometric and photometric image constraints (planar and superpixel segmentation); and a fusion stage in which the information of nearby frames (temporal continuity of the sequence) is merged (using a probabilistic framework) to improve the accuracy and reduce the uncertainty of the resulting keyframes. As a result, more compact maps (with less keyframes) are created. We have validated our approach with different kind of RGB-D data including both indoor and outdoor sequences, and spherical and perspective sensors, demonstrating that our approach compares and outperforms the state-of-the-art  .
Semantic Representation For Navigation In Large-Scale Environments
Participants : Romain Drouilly, Patrick Rives.
Autonomous navigation is one of the most challenging problem to address to allow robots to evolve in our everyday environments. Map-based navigation has been studied for a long time and researches have produced a great variety of approaches to model the world. However, semantic information has only recently been taken into account in those models to improve robot efficiency.
Mimicking human navigation is a challenging goal for autonomous robots. This requires to explicitly take into account not only geometric representation but also high-level interpretation of the environment  . We propose a novel approach demonstrating the capability to infer a route in a global map by using semantics. Our approach relies on an object-based representation of the world automatically built by robots from spherical images. In addition, we propose a new approach to specify paths in terms of high-level robot actions. This path description provides robots with the ability to interact with humans in an intuitive way. We perform experiments on simulated and real-world data, demonstrating the ability of our approach to deal with complex large-scale outdoor environments whilst dealing with labelling errors  .
Mapping evolving environments requires an update mechanism to efficiently deal with dynamic objects. In this context, we propose a new approach to update maps pertaining to large-scale dynamic environments with semantics. While previous works mainly rely on large amount of observations, the proposed framework is able to build a stable representation with only two observations of the environment. To do this, scene understanding is used to detect dynamic objects and to recover the labels of the occluded parts of the scene through an inference process which takes into account both spatial context and a class occlusion model. Our method was evaluated on a database acquired at two different times with an interval of three years in a large dynamic outdoor environment. The results point out the ability to retrieve the hidden classes with a precision score of 0.98. The performances in term of localisation are also improved  .