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AGILE: GIScience Series Open-access proceedings of the Association of Geographic Information Laboratories in Europe
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Articles | Volume 3
AGILE GIScience Ser., 3, 55, 2022
AGILE GIScience Ser., 3, 55, 2022
11 Jun 2022
11 Jun 2022

Off-Road Navigation Maps for Robotic Platforms using Convolutional Neural Networks

Raphael Prinz1, Rizwan Bulbul1, Joahnnes Scholz1, Matthias Eder2, and Gerald Steinbauer-Wagner2 Raphael Prinz et al.
  • 1RG Geoinformation, Institute of Geodesy, Graz University of Technology, 8010 Graz, Austria
  • 2Institute of Software Technology, Graz University of Technology, 8010 Graz, Austria

Keywords: remote sensing, deep learning, robotics, GeoAI

Abstract. As part of AMADEE-20, an integrated Mars analog field mission in the Negev Desert in Israel conducted by the Austrian Space Forum, an exploration cascade for the remote sensing of extraterrestrial terrain was implemented. For this purpose, aerial robots were conceptualized, which were used in an iterative process to generate a navigational map for an autonomous ground vehicle. This work presents the process for generating navigation maps using multiple aerial image sources from satellites as well as from low orbiting aerial vehicles. First, Deep Learning methods are used to analyze a high altitude aerial images of a large area, creating a basis map for mission planning and navigation. Second, high resolution unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) images were recorded on low altitude for a pre-defined area of interest, processed with Deep-Learning and Structure from Motion and used to update the basis map. This approach results in a high accuracy navigation map for autonomous, off-road robot navigation. Experiments during the AMADEE-20 mission in the Israeli Negev Desert validated the proposed methods by sending an autonomous ground vehicle through the environment using the generated map.

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