Graph-Based Topological Exploration Planning in Large-Scale 3D Environments

Fan Yang, Dung-Han Lee, John Keller, Sebastian Scherer

Currently, state-of-the-art exploration methods maintain high-resolution map representations in order to optimize exploration goals in each step that maximizes information gain. However, during exploring, those "optimal" selections could quickly become obsolete due to the influx of new information, especially in large-scale environments, and result in high-frequency re-planning that hinders the overall exploration efficiency. In this paper, we propose a graph-based topological planning framework, building a sparse topological map in three-dimensional (3D) space to guide exploration steps with high-level intents so as to render consistent exploration maneuvers. Specifically, this work presents a novel method to estimate 3D space's geometry with convex polyhedrons. Then, the geometry information is utilized to group space into distinctive regions. And those regions are added as nodes into the topological map, directing the exploration process. We compared our method with the state-of-the-art in simulated environments. The proposed method achieves higher space coverage and outperforms exploration efficiency by more than 40% during experiments. Finally, a field experiment was conducted to further evaluate the applicability of our method to empower efficient and robust exploration in real-world environments.

Knowledge Graph



Sign up or login to leave a comment