Empowering Robotics with Large Language Models: osmAG Map Comprehension with LLMs

13 Mar 2024  ·  Fujing Xie, Sören Schwertfeger ·

Recently, Large Language Models (LLMs) have demonstrated great potential in robotic applications by providing essential general knowledge for situations that can not be pre-programmed beforehand. Generally speaking, mobile robots need to understand maps to execute tasks such as localization or navigation. In this letter, we address the problem of enabling LLMs to comprehend Area Graph, a text-based map representation, in order to enhance their applicability in the field of mobile robotics. Area Graph is a hierarchical, topometric semantic map representation utilizing polygons to demark areas such as rooms, corridors or buildings. In contrast to commonly used map representations, such as occupancy grid maps or point clouds, osmAG (Area Graph in OpensStreetMap format) is stored in a XML textual format naturally readable by LLMs. Furthermore, conventional robotic algorithms such as localization and path planning are compatible with osmAG, facilitating this map representation comprehensible by LLMs, traditional robotic algorithms and humans. Our experiments show that with a proper map representation, LLMs possess the capability to understand maps and answer queries based on that understanding. Following simple fine-tuning of LLaMA2 models, it surpassed ChatGPT-3.5 in tasks involving topology and hierarchy understanding. Our dataset, dataset generation code, fine-tuned LoRA adapters can be accessed at https://github.com/xiefujing/LLM-osmAG-Comprehension.

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