3D Hierarchical Refinement and Augmentation for Unsupervised Learning of Depth and Pose from Monocular Video

6 Dec 2021  ·  Guangming Wang, Jiquan Zhong, Shijie Zhao, Wenhua Wu, Zhe Liu, Hesheng Wang ·

Depth and ego-motion estimations are essential for the localization and navigation of autonomous robots and autonomous driving. Recent studies make it possible to learn the per-pixel depth and ego-motion from the unlabeled monocular video. A novel unsupervised training framework is proposed with 3D hierarchical refinement and augmentation using explicit 3D geometry. In this framework, the depth and pose estimations are hierarchically and mutually coupled to refine the estimated pose layer by layer. The intermediate view image is proposed and synthesized by warping the pixels in an image with the estimated depth and coarse pose. Then, the residual pose transformation can be estimated from the new view image and the image of the adjacent frame to refine the coarse pose. The iterative refinement is implemented in a differentiable manner in this paper, making the whole framework optimized uniformly. Meanwhile, a new image augmentation method is proposed for the pose estimation by synthesizing a new view image, which creatively augments the pose in 3D space but gets a new augmented 2D image. The experiments on KITTI demonstrate that our depth estimation achieves state-of-the-art performance and even surpasses recent approaches that utilize other auxiliary tasks. Our visual odometry outperforms all recent unsupervised monocular learning-based methods and achieves competitive performance to the geometry-based method, ORB-SLAM2 with back-end optimization.

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