Actively Mapping Industrial Structures

This project focuses on LIDAR mapping of industrial structures using mobile robots. We focus on the problems of reconstructing and mapping while having only incomplete field of view and coverage.

Actively Mapping Industrial Structures with Information Gain-Based Planning on a Quadruped Robot (ICRA 2020)

Abstract: In this paper, we develop an online active mapping system to enable a quadruped robot to autonomously survey large physical structures. We describe the perception, planning and control modules needed to scan and reconstruct an object of interest, without the requirement of a prior model. The system utilises voxel space to represent the object, and iteratively determines the Next-Best-View (NBV), according to both the reconstruction itself and collision avoidance in the environment. By computing the expected information gain of a set of candidate scan locations sampled on the as-sensed terrain map, as well as the cost of reaching these candidates, the robot decides the NBV for further exploration. The robot plans an optimal path towards the NBV, avoiding obstacles and non-traversable terrain. Experimental results on both simulated and real-world environments show the capability and efficiency of our system. Finally we present a full system demonstration on the real robot, the ANYbotics ANYmal, autonomously reconstructing a building facade and an industrial structure.