Robotics: Science and Systems XV

Cross-Modal Learning Filters for RGB-Neuromorphic Wormhole Learning

Alessandro Zanardi, Andreas Jianhao Aumiller, Julian Zilly, Andrea Censi, Emilio Frazzoli


Robots that need to act in an uncertain, populated, and varied world need heterogeneous sensors to be able to perceive and act robustly. For example, self-driving cars currently on the road are equipped with dozens of sensors of several types (lidar, radar, sonar, cameras, ...). All of this existing and emerging complexity opens up many interesting questions regarding how to deal with multi-modal perception and learning. The recently developed technique of "wormhole learning"; shows that even temporary access to a different sensor with complementary invariance characteristics can be used to enlarge the operating domain of an existing object detector without the use of additional training data. For example, an RGB object detector trained with daytime data can be updated to function at night time by using a "wormhole" jump through a different modality that is more illumination invariant, such as an IR camera. It turns out that having an additional sensor improves performance, even if you subsequently lose it. In this work we extend wormhole learning to allow to cope with sensors that are radically different, such as RGB cameras and event-based neuromorphic sensors. Their profound differences imply that we need a more careful selection of which samples to transfer, by the definition of "cross-modal learning filters". We will walk in a relatively unexplored territory of multi-modal observability that is not usually considered in machine learning. We show that wormhole learning increases performance even though the intermediate neuromorphic modality is on average much worse at the task. These results suggest that multi-modal learning for perception is still an early field and there might be many opportunities to improve the perception performance by accessing a rich set of heterogeneous sensors (even if some are not actually deployed on the robot).



    AUTHOR    = {Alessandro Zanardi AND Andreas Jianhao Aumiller AND Julian Zilly AND Andrea Censi AND Emilio Frazzoli}, 
    TITLE     = {Cross-Modal Learning Filters for RGB-Neuromorphic Wormhole Learning}, 
    BOOKTITLE = {Proceedings of Robotics: Science and Systems}, 
    YEAR      = {2019}, 
    ADDRESS   = {FreiburgimBreisgau, Germany}, 
    MONTH     = {June}, 
    DOI       = {10.15607/RSS.2019.XV.045}