Virtual Radar: Real-Time Millimeter-Wave Radar Sensor Simulation for Perception-driven Robotics
Christian Schöffmann, Barnaba Ubezio, Christoph Böhm, Stephan Mühlbacher-Karrer and Hubert Zangl
This article presents ViRa, a real-time open-source millimeter-wave radar simulation framework for perception-driven robotic applications. ViRa provides (i) raw data of radar sensors in real-time, simulation of (ii) multi-antenna configurations for spatial estimation of objects, (iii) wave penetration of non-conductive objects to infer information in occluded situations, (iv) different radar beam patterns, and, (v) configurations of radar sensors as given by real-world radars. By using ViRa, researchers can simulate radar sensors in different robotic scenarios and investigate radars prior to the installation. This allows an acceleration in the development of radar sensors for robotic applications without the need of real hardware. Contrary to simple model abstractions, which only output loose features, ViRa generates raw radar data using computer graphics techniques on graphics processing unit (GPU) level embedded inside a game engine environment. ViRa allows to feed data directly into machine learning frameworks, which enables further improvement in novel research directions, such as safe human-robot interaction or agile drone flights in obstacle-rich environments. The proposed simulation framework is validated with data from different scenarios in robotics such as human tracking for human-robot interaction. The obtained results are compared with a reference simulation framework and show significantly higher correlation when compared to real-world measurement data.
Paper (coming soon)
Video (coming soon)
ViRa was developed at the Institute of Smart System Technologies in cooperation with the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics JOANNEUM RESEARCH as part of the KWF/EFRE project CapSize. ViRa was accepted for publication in the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L).