Active Perception using Light Curtains for Autonomous Driving

Siddharth Ancha, Yaadhav Raaj, Peiyun Hu, Srinivasa G. Narasimhan, David Held ;


Most real-world 3D sensors such as LiDARs are passive, meaning that they sense the entire environment, while being decoupled from the recognition system that processes the sensor data. In this work, we propose a method for 3D object recognition using light curtains, a resource-efficient active sensor that measures depth at selected locations in the environment in a controllable manner. Crucially, we propose using prediction uncertainty of a deep learning based 3D point cloud detector to guide active sensing. Given a neural network's uncertainty, we develop a novel optimization algorithm to optimally place light curtains to maximize coverage of uncertain regions. Efficient optimization is achieved by encoding the physical constraints of the device into a constraint graph, which is optimized with dynamic programming. We show how a 3D detector can be trained to detect objects in a scene by sequentially placing uncertainty-guided light curtains to successively improve detection accuracy."

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