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Vision and range sensing belong to the richest sensory modalities for perception in robotics and related fields. This paper addresses the problem of how to best combine image and range data for the task of object detection. In particular, we propose a novel adaptive fusion approach, hierarchical Gaussian Process mixtures of experts, able to account for missing information and cross-cue data consistency. The hierarchy is a two-tier architecture that for each modality, each frame and each detection computes a weight function using Gaussian Processes that reflects the confidence of the respective information. We further propose a method called cross-cue domain adaptation that makes use of large image data sets to improve the depth-based object detector for which only few training samples exist. In the experiments that include a comparison with alternative sensor fusion schemes, we demonstrate the viability of the proposed methods and achieve significant improvements in classification accuracy.
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