SwipeBot: DNN-based Autonomous Robot Navigation among Movable Obstacles in Cluttered Environments

Nikolay Zherdev,Mikhail Kurenkov, Kristina Belikova,Dzmitry Tsetserukou


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In this paper, we propose a novel approach to wheeled robot navigation through an environment with movable obstacles. A robot exploits knowledge about different obstacle classes and selects the minimally invasive action to perform to clear the path. We trained a convolutional neural network (CNN), so the robot can classify an RGB-D image and decide whether to push a blocking object and which force to apply. After known objects are segmented, they are being projected to a cost-map, and a robot calculates an optimal path to the goal. If the blocking objects are allowed to be moved, a robot drives through them while pushing them away. We implemented our algorithm in ROS, and an extensive set of simulations showed that the robot successfully overcomes the blocked regions. Our approach allows a robot to successfully build a path through regions, where it would have stuck with traditional path-planning techniques.
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