Living and Searching in the World: Object-Based State Estimation for Mobile Robots


  • Lawson Wong Massachusetts Institute of Technology



State estimation, world modeling


Mobile-manipulation robots performing service tasks in human-centric indoor environments has long been a dream for developers of autonomous agents. Tasks such as cooking and cleaning require interaction with the environment, hence robots need to know relevant aspects of their spatial surroundings. However, unlike the structured settings that industrial robots operate in, service robots typically have little prior information about their environment. Even if this information was given, due to the involvement of many other agents (e.g., humans moving objects), uncertainty in the complete state of the world is inevitable over time. Additionally, most information about the world is irrelevant to any particular task at hand. Mobile manipulation robots therefore need to continuously perform the task of state estimation, using perceptual information to maintain the state, and its uncertainty, of task-relevant aspects of the world. Because indoor tasks frequently require the use of objects, objects should be given critical emphasis in spatial representations for service robots. Compared to occupancy grids and feature-based maps often used in navigation and SLAM, object-based representations are arguably still in their infancy. In my thesis, I propose a representation framework based on objects, their 'semantic' attributes, and their geometric realizations in the physical world.




How to Cite

Wong, L. (2014). Living and Searching in the World: Object-Based State Estimation for Mobile Robots. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 28(1).