Improving the Generalization Capability of DNNs for Ultra-low Power Autonomous Nano-UAVs
- Conference Paper
Deep neural networks (DNNs) are becoming the first-class solution for autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) applications, especially for tiny, resource-constrained, nano-UAVs, with a few tens of grams in weight and subten centimeters in diameter. DNN visual pipelines have been proven capable of delivering high intelligence aboard nano-UAVs, efficiently exploiting novel multi-core microcontroller units. However, one severe limitation of this class of solutions is the generalization challenge, i.e., the visual cues learned on the specific training domain hardly predict with the same accuracy on different ones. Ultimately, it results in very limited applicability of State-of-the-Art (SoA) autonomous navigation DNNs outside controlled environments. In this work, we tackle this problem in the context of the human pose estimation task with a SoA vision-based DNN . We propose a novel methodology that leverages synthetic domain randomization by applying a simple but effective image background replacement technique to augment our training dataset. Our results demonstrate how the augmentation forces the learning process to focus on what matters most: the pose of the human subject. Our approach reduces the DNN's mean square error - vs. a non-augmented baseline - by up to 40%, on a never-seen-before testing environment. Since our methodology tackles the DNN's training stage, the improved generalization capabilities come at zero-cost for the computational/memory burdens aboard the nano-UAV. Show more
Book title2021 17th International Conference on Distributed Computing in Sensor Systems (DCOSS)
Pages / Article No.
SubjectDeep Neural Network; Domain Generalization; Autonomous UAVs; Nano-drones
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