Occupancy Map Inpainting for Online Robot Navigation

Minghan Wei, Daewon Lee, Volkan Isler, Daniel Lee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


In this work, we focus on mobile robot navigation in indoor environments where occlusions and field-of-view limitations hinder onboard sensing capabilities. We show that the footprint of a camera mounted on a robot can be drastically improved using learning-based approaches. Specifically, we consider the task of building an occupancy map for autonomous navigation of a robot equipped with a depth camera. In our approach, a local occupancy map is first computed using measurements from the camera directly. Afterwards, an inpainting network adds further information, the occupancy probabilities of unseen grid cells, to the map. A novel aspect of our approach is that rather than direct supervision from ground truth, we combine the information from a second camera with a better field-of-view for supervision. The training focuses on predicting extensions of the sensed data. To test the effectiveness of our approach, we use a robot setup with a single camera placed at 0.5m above the ground. We compare the navigation performance using raw maps from only this camera's input (baseline) versus using inpainted maps augmented with our network. Our method outperforms the baseline approach even in completely new environments not included in the training set and can yield 21% shorter paths than the baseline approach. A real-time implementation of our method on a mobile robot is also tested in home and office environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2021 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2021
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781728190778
StatePublished - 2021
Event2021 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2021 - Xi'an, China
Duration: May 30 2021Jun 5 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
ISSN (Print)1050-4729


Conference2021 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 IEEE


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