The problem of autonomous navigation of a ground vehicle in unstructured environments is both challenging and crucial for the deployment of this type of vehicle in real-world applications. Several well-established communities in robotics research deal with these scenarios such as search and rescue robotics, planetary exploration, and agricultural robotics. Perception plays a crucial role in this context, since it provides the necessary information to make the vehicle aware of its own status and its surrounding environment. We present a review on the recent contributions in the robotics literature adopting learning-based methods to solve the problem of environment perception and interpretation with the final aim of the autonomous context-aware navigation of ground vehicles in unstructured environments. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work providing such a review in this context.
Keywords: deep learning for robotics; end-to-end navigation; machine learning paradigms; off-road navigation; terrain traversability analysis; unmanned ground vehicle navigation.