Status: Draft

Robotic / Autonomous Driving Scenario

This project consists of two parts. First, content for machine learning tasks regarding robotic and autonomous driving, realized as Jupyter notebooks. Second, software to control a racecar in scale 1:10 in real world and simulated environments (NeuroRace).

Scenario Description

To autonomously drive a vehicle, Convolutional Neural Networks are used [LEC98]. A research team has proven, that a complex architecture is capable to drive a car by using an end-to-end concept [NVI16]. Therefor a paradigm called Imitation Learning has been applied [HUS17]. Hereby, the model is trained supervised and the action is mimiced. Based on this approach a real word prototype racecar in scale 1:10 is built and equipped with a camera. Data can be recorded to train a model, capable of driving autonomously on a random track with pylons as borders (pylons are also in scale 1:10). Further sensors and different cameras can be applied to the real world prototype as replacement or in addition to the used camera.
Furthermore, another paradigm, Reinforcement Learning [SB98] will be used. In Reinforcment Learning, a reward system is required for training instead of labeled data. Based on this approach, researchers sucessfully trained models, which are capable of solving different complex tasks [KOR13], also in the continuous action space [SIL14][LIL15]. With this paradigm in mind, a simulator [KH04] in combination with the Robot Operating System [QUI09] and OpenAI Gym [BRO16] is used, to provide the possibility of training different Reinforcement Learning algorithms. The MIT-Racecar project will be used as base for the simulated version of the real world prototype.
The design of the implementation is split into three basic modules, shown in the figure 1. This architecture allows to train a model by Imitation Learning in real world or a simulated environment and afterwards, to improve it further with Reinforcement Learning. As the basic system, Linux in combination with ROS is used.

↳ Architecture (CC-BY-SA 4.0 Patrick Baumann)

Teaching Material

(in progress)

  • Sensorfusion
  • Bayes-inference and probability
  • Kalman Filter, Particle Filter
  • Localization / SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping)
  • Behaviour Cloning (Supervised Learning)
  • (constraint) Optimization (Evolutionary Algorithms, Ant Colony Optimization etc.)
  • (Deep) Reinforcement Learning (Model-free)
  • Machine Learning project to control real world/simulated racecar: NeuroRace


[BRO16] Brockman, Greg, et al. "OpenAI Gym." CoRR abs/1606.01540.
[HUS17] Hussein, Ahmed, et al. "Imitation Learning: A Survey of Learning Methods." ACM Comput Surv 50.2, 21:1-21:35.
[KH04] Koenig, Nathan and Howard, Andrew. "Design and use paradigms for Gazebo, an open-source multi-robot simulator." Proceedings of 2004 IEEE/RSJ IROS.
[KOR13] Mnih, Volodymyr and Kavukcuoglu, Koray, et al. "Playing Atari with Deep Reinforcement Learning." CoRR abs/1312.5602.
[LEC98] LeCun, Yann, et al. "Gradient-based learning applied to document recognition." Proceedings of the IEEE 86.11 (1998): 2278-2324.
[LIL15] Lillicrap, Timothy, et al. "Continuous control with deep reinforcement learning." CoRR abs/1509.02971.
[NVI16] LeCun, Yann, et al. "Gradient-based learning applied to document recognition." Proceedings of the IEEE 86.11 (1998): 2278-2324.
[QUI09] Quiqley, Morgan, et al. "ROS: an open-source Robot Operating System." ICRA workshop on open sourc software. Vol. 3. 3.2. 2009.
[SB98] Sutton, Richard and Barto, Andrew "Introduction to Reinforcement Learning." 1st Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press, 1998.
[SIL14] Silver, David, et al. "Deterministic Policy Gradient Algorithms." Proceedings of the 31st International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML-14): 387-395.