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Automatic Rocks Segmentation Based on Deep Learning for Planetary Rover Images

Haichao Li, Linwei Qiu, Zhi Li, Bo Meng, Jianbin Huang, Zhimin Zhang

Abstract: Accurate detection and segmentation of obstacles is the key to the smooth operation of the planetary rovers and the basic guarantee of scientific exploration mission. The traditional method of rock segmentation based on boundary detector is affected by the change of illumination and dust storms. To address this problem, this paper proposes an improved U-net-based architecture combined with Visual Geometry Group (VGG) and dilated convolutional neural network for the segmentation of rocks from images of planetary exploration rovers. The proposed method also has a contracting path and an expansive path to get high-resolution output similar with U-Net. In the contracting path, the convolution layers in U-Net are replaced by the convolutional layers of VGG16. Inspired by the dilated convolution, the multiscale dilated convolution in the expansive path is proposed. Furthermore, our method is further optimized in the expansive path. To evaluate the proposed method, extensive experiments on segmentation with the Mars dataset have been conducted. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method produces accurate semantic segmentation and identification results automatically and outperforms state-of-the-art methods.
Keywords: segmentation / neural / contracting / automatically / Mars / optimized / path / convolution / rovers / dilated

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