Spatial Concept-Based Navigation with Human Speech Instructions via Probabilistic Inference on Bayesian Generative Model

18 Feb 2020  ·  Akira Taniguchi, Yoshinobu Hagiwara, Tadahiro Taniguchi, Tetsunari Inamura ·

Robots are required to not only learn spatial concepts autonomously but also utilize such knowledge for various tasks in a domestic environment. Spatial concept represents a multimodal place category acquired from the robot's spatial experience including vision, speech-language, and self-position. The aim of this study is to enable a mobile robot to perform navigational tasks with human speech instructions, such as `Go to the kitchen', via probabilistic inference on a Bayesian generative model using spatial concepts. Specifically, path planning was formalized as the maximization of probabilistic distribution on the path-trajectory under speech instruction, based on a control-as-inference framework. Furthermore, we described the relationship between probabilistic inference based on the Bayesian generative model and control problem including reinforcement learning. We demonstrated path planning based on human instruction using acquired spatial concepts to verify the usefulness of the proposed approach in the simulator and in real environments. Experimentally, places instructed by the user's speech commands showed high probability values, and the trajectory toward the target place was correctly estimated. Our approach, based on probabilistic inference concerning decision-making, can lead to further improvement in robot autonomy.

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