3D segmentation and localization using visual cues in uncontrolled environments
Cuevas Velasquez, Hanz
3D scene understanding is an important area in robotics, autonomous vehicles, and virtual reality. The goal of scene understanding is to recognize and localize all the objects around the agent. This is done through semantic segmentation and depth estimation. Current approaches focus on improving the robustness to solve each task but fail in making them efficient for real-time usage. This thesis presents four efficient methods for scene understanding that work in real environments. The methods also aim to provide a solution for 2D and 3D data. The first approach presents a pipeline that combines the block matching algorithm for disparity estimation, an encoder-decoder neural network for semantic segmentation, and a refinement step that uses both outputs to complete the regions that were not labelled or did not have any disparity assigned to them. This method provides accurate results in 3D reconstruction and morphology estimation of complex structures like rose bushes. Due to the lack of datasets of rose bushes and their segmentation, we also made three large datasets. Two of them have real roses that were manually labelled, and the third one was created using a scene modeler and 3D rendering software. The last dataset aims to capture diversity, realism and obtain different types of labelling. The second contribution provides a strategy for real-time rose pruning using visual servoing of a robotic arm and our previous approach. Current methods obtain the structure of the plant and plan the cutting trajectory using only a global planner and assume a constant background. Our method works in real environments and uses visual feedback to refine the location of the cutting targets and modify the planned trajectory. The proposed visual servoing allows the robot to reach the cutting points 94% of the time. This is an improvement compared to only using a global planner without visual feedback, which reaches the targets 50% of the time. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first robot able to prune a complete rose bush in a natural environment. Recent deep learning image segmentation and disparity estimation networks provide accurate results. However, most of these methods are computationally expensive, which makes them impractical for real-time tasks. Our third contribution uses multi-task learning to learn the image segmentation and disparity estimation together end-to-end. The experiments show that our network has at most 1/3 of the parameters of the state-of-the-art of each individual task and still provides competitive results. The last contribution explores the area of scene understanding using 3D data. Recent approaches use point-based networks to do point cloud segmentation and find local relations between points using only the latent features provided by the network, omitting the geometric information from the point clouds. Our approach aggregates the geometric information into the network. Given that the geometric and latent features are different, our network also uses a two-headed attention mechanism to do local aggregation at the latent and geometric level. This additional information helps the network to obtain a more accurate semantic segmentation, in real point cloud data, using fewer parameters than current methods. Overall, the method obtains the state-of-the-art segmentation in the real datasets S3DIS with 69.2% and competitive results in the ModelNet40 and ShapeNetPart datasets.