Unless otherwise noted, all seminars are held in room 1116 in the Marcus Nanotechnology Building from 12-1 p.m. Seminars are open to the public.
Timothy Barfoot, associate professor at the University of Toronto, presents "Towards Visual Route Following for Mobile Robots…Forever!" as part of the RIM Seminar Series.
In this talk I will describe a particular approach to visual route following for mobile robots that we have developed, called Visual Teach & Repeat (VT&R), and what I think the next steps are to make this system usable in real-world applications. We can think of VT&R as a simple form of simultaneous localization and mapping (without the loop closures) along with a path-tracking controller; the idea is to pilot a robot manually along a route once and then be able to repeat the route (in its own tracks) autonomously many, many times using only visual feedback. VT&R is useful for such applications as load delivery (mining), sample return (space exploration), and perimeter patrol (security). Despite having demonstrated this technique for over 300 km of driving on several different robots, there are still many challenges we must meet before we can say this technique is ready for real-world applications. These include (i) visual scene changes such as lighting, (ii) physical scene changes such as path obstructions, and (iii) vehicle changes such as tire wear. I’ll discuss our progress to date in addressing these issues and the next steps moving forward. There will be lots of videos.