Field Robotics Center Seminar
Wednesday, November 28
10:30 am - 11:30 am
Gates Hillman Center 4405
Autonomous drone cinematographer: Using artistic principles to create smooth, safe, occlusion-free trajectories for aerial filming
Abstract: Autonomous aerial cinematography has the potential to enable automatic capture of aesthetically pleasing videos without requiring human intervention, empowering individuals with the capability of high-end film studios. Current approaches either only handle off-line trajectory generation, or offer strategies that reason over short time horizons and simplistic representations for obstacles, which result in jerky movement and low real-life applicability. In this work we develop a method for aerial filming that is able to trade off shot smoothness, occlusion, and cinematography guidelines in a principled manner, even under noisy actor predictions. We present a novel algorithm for real-time covariant gradient descent that we use to efficiently find the desired trajectories by optimizing a set of cost functions. Experimental results show that our approach creates attractive shots, avoiding obstacles and occlusion 65 times over 1.25 hours of flight time, re-planning at 5 Hz with a 10 s time horizon. We robustly film human actors, cars and bicycles performing different motion among obstacles, using various shot types.
Speaker Bio: Rogerio Bonatti is a PhD student in the Air Lab at the Robotics Institute advised by Prof. Sebastian Scherer. He is broadly interested in combining motion planning techniques together with learning methods for robust robot decision making in real-life conditions. His current research is focused on autonomous aerial cinematography. Prior to CMU, Rogerio received his B.S. in Mechatronics Engineering from University of Sao Paulo, together with a yearlong study-abroad program at Cornell University.