Real-world Instance-specific Image Goal Navigation for Service Robots: Bridging the Domain Gap with Contrastive Learning

Improving instance-specific image goal navigation (InstanceImageNav), which locates the identical object in a real-world environment from a query image, is essential for robotic systems to assist users in finding desired objects. The challenge lies in the domain gap between low-quality images observed by the moving robot, characterized by motion blur and low-resolution, and high-quality query images provided by the user. Such domain gaps could significantly reduce the task success rate but have not been the focus of previous work. To address this, we propose a novel method called Few-shot Cross-quality Instance-aware Adaptation (CrossIA), which employs contrastive learning with an instance classifier to align features between massive low- and few high-quality images. This approach effectively reduces the domain gap by bringing the latent representations of cross-quality images closer on an instance basis. Additionally, the system integrates an object image collection with a pre-trained deblurring model to enhance the observed image quality. Our method fine-tunes the SimSiam model, pre-trained on ImageNet, using CrossIA. We evaluated our method's effectiveness through an InstanceImageNav task with 20 different types of instances, where the robot identifies the same instance in a real-world environment as a high-quality query image. Our experiments showed that our method improves the task success rate by up to three times compared to the baseline, a conventional approach based on SuperGlue. These findings highlight the potential of leveraging contrastive learning and image enhancement techniques to bridge the domain gap and improve object localization in robotic applications. The project website is

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