Registration and Localization of Unknown Moving Objects in Markerless Monocular SLAM
Simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) is a general device localization technique that uses realtime sensor measurements to develop a virtualization of the sensor's environment while also using this growing virtualization to determine the position and orientation of the sensor. This is useful for augmented reality (AR), in which a user looks through a head-mounted display (HMD) or viewfinder to see virtual components integrated into the real world. Visual SLAM (i.e., SLAM in which the sensor is an optical camera) is used in AR to determine the exact device/headset movement so that the virtual components can be accurately redrawn to the screen, matching the perceived motion of the world around the user as the user moves the device/headset. However, many potential AR applications may need access to more than device localization data in order to be useful; they may need to leverage environment data as well. Additionally, most SLAM solutions make the naive assumption that the environment surrounding the system is completely static (non-moving). Given these circumstances, it is clear that AR may benefit substantially from utilizing a SLAM solution that detects objects that move in the scene and ultimately provides localization data for each of these objects. This problem is known as the dynamic SLAM problem. Current attempts to address the dynamic SLAM problem often use machine learning to develop models that identify the parts of the camera image that belong to one of many classes of potentially-moving objects. The limitation with these approaches is that it is impractical to train models to identify every possible object that moves; additionally, some potentially-moving objects may be static in the scene, which these approaches often do not account for. Some other attempts to address the dynamic SLAM problem also localize the moving objects they detect, but these systems almost always rely on depth sensors or stereo camera configurations, which have significant limitations in real-world use cases. This dissertation presents a novel approach for registering and localizing unknown moving objects in the context of markerless, monocular, keyframe-based SLAM with no required prior information about object structure, appearance, or existence. This work also details a novel deep learning solution for determining SLAM map initialization suitability in structure-from-motion-based initialization approaches. This dissertation goes on to validate these approaches by implementing them in a markerless, monocular SLAM system called LUMO-SLAM, which is built from the ground up to demonstrate this approach to unknown moving object registration and localization. Results are collected for the LUMO-SLAM system, which address the accuracy of its camera localization estimates, the accuracy of its moving object localization estimates, and the consistency with which it registers moving objects in the scene. These results show that this solution to the dynamic SLAM problem, though it does not act as a practical solution for all use cases, has an ability to accurately register and localize unknown moving objects in such a way that makes it useful for some applications of AR without thwarting the system's ability to also perform accurate camera localization.
- Doctor of Philosophy
- Computer Science