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Cross-Viewpoint Semantic Mapping: Integrating Human and Robot Perspectives for Improved 3D Semantic Reconstruction

László Kopácsi; Benjámin Baffy; Gábor Baranyi; Joul Skaf; Gábor Sörös; Szilvia Szeier; András Lőrincz; Daniel Sonntag
In: Sensors - Open Access Journal (Sensors), Vol. 23, No. 11, Pages 1-17, MDPI, 5/2023.


Allocentric semantic 3D maps are highly useful for a variety of human–machine interaction related tasks since egocentric viewpoints can be derived by the machine for the human partner. Class labels and map interpretations, however, may differ or could be missing for the participants due to the different perspectives. Particularly, when considering the viewpoint of a small robot, which significantly differs from the viewpoint of a human. In order to overcome this issue, and to establish common ground, we extend an existing real-time 3D semantic reconstruction pipeline with semantic matching across human and robot viewpoints. We use deep recognition networks, which usually perform well from higher (i.e., human) viewpoints but are inferior from lower viewpoints, such as that of a small robot. We propose several approaches for acquiring semantic labels for images taken from unusual perspectives. We start with a partial 3D semantic reconstruction from the human perspective that we transfer and adapt to the small robot’s perspective using superpixel segmentation and the geometry of the surroundings. The quality of the reconstruction is evaluated in the Habitat simulator and a real environment using a robot car with an RGBD camera. We show that the proposed approach provides high-quality semantic segmentation from the robot’s perspective, with accuracy comparable to the original one. In addition, we exploit the gained information and improve the recognition performance of the deep network for the lower viewpoints and show that the small robot alone is capable of generating high-quality semantic maps for the human partner. The computations are close to real-time, so the approach enables interactive applications.


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