Obstacle Avoidance for an Autonomous Robot Car using Deep Learning
Abstract: The focus of this study was deep learning. A small, autonomous robot car was used for obstacle avoidance experiments. The robot car used a camera for taking images of its surroundings. A convolutional neural network used the images for obstacle detection. The available dataset of 31 022 images was trained with the Xception model. We compared two different implementations for making the robot car avoid obstacles. Mapping image classes to steering commands was used as a reference implementation. The main implementation of this study was to separate obstacle detection and steering logic in different modules. The former reached an obstacle avoidance ratio of 80 %, the latter reached 88 %. Different hyperparameters were looked at during training. We found that frozen layers and number of epochs were important to optimize. Weights were loaded from ImageNet before training. Frozen layers decided how many layers that were trainable after that. Training all layers (no frozen layers) was proven to work best. Number of epochs decided how many epochs a model trained. We found that it was important to train between 10-25 epochs. The best model used no frozen layers and trained for 21 epochs. It reached a test accuracy of 85.2 %.
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