Risk-Aware Planning and Assignment for Ground Vehicles using Uncertain Perception from Aerial Vehicles

25 Mar 2020  ·  Vishnu D. Sharma, Maymoonah Toubeh, Lifeng Zhou, Pratap Tokekar ·

We propose a risk-aware framework for multi-robot, multi-demand assignment and planning in unknown environments. Our motivation is disaster response and search-and-rescue scenarios where ground vehicles must reach demand locations as soon as possible. We consider a setting where the terrain information is available only in the form of an aerial, georeferenced image. Deep learning techniques can be used for semantic segmentation of the aerial image to create a cost map for safe ground robot navigation. Such segmentation may still be noisy. Hence, we present a joint planning and perception framework that accounts for the risk introduced due to noisy perception. Our contributions are two-fold: (i) we show how to use Bayesian deep learning techniques to extract risk at the perception level; and (ii) use a risk-theoretical measure, CVaR, for risk-aware planning and assignment. The pipeline is theoretically established, then empirically analyzed through two datasets. We find that accounting for risk at both levels produces quantifiably safer paths and assignments.

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Introduced in the Paper:

Risk-Aware Planning Dataset