Learning Probabilistic Motion Models for Mobile Robots
Austin Eliazar - Duke University
Ronald Parr - Duke University
Machine learning methods are often applied to the problem of learning a map from a robot's sensor data, but they are rarely applied to the problem of learning a robot's motion model. The motion model, which can be influenced by robot idiosyncrasies and terrain properties, is a crucial aspect of current algorithms for Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM). In this paper we concentrate on generating the correct motion model for a robot by applying EM methods in conjunction with a current SLAM algorithm. In contrast to previous calibration approaches, we not only estimate the mean of the motion, but also the interdependencies between motion terms, and the variances in these terms. This can be used to provide a more focused proposal distribution to a particle filter used in a SLAM algorithm, which can reduce the resources needed for localization while decreasing the chance of losing track of the robot's position. We validate this approach by recovering a good motion model despite initialization with a poor one. Further experiments validate the generality of the learned model in similar circumstances.