We present an approach for creating conceptual representations of human-made indoor environments using mobile robots. The concepts refer to spatial and functional properties of typical indoor environments. Following findings in cognitive psychology, our model is composed of layers representing maps at different levels of abstraction. The complete system is integrated in a mobile robot endowed with laser and vision sensors for place and object recognition. The system also incorporates a linguistic framework that actively supports the map acquisition process, and which is used for situated dialogue. Finally, we discuss the capabilities of the integrated system.
Exploration is an important aspect of robotics, whether it is for mapping, rescue missions or path planning in an unknown environment. Frontier Exploration planning (FEP) and Receding Horizon Next-Best-View planning (RH-NBVP) are two different approaches with different strengths and weaknesses. FEP explores a large environment consisting of separate regions with ease, but is slow at reaching full exploration due to moving back and forth between regions. RH-NBVP shows great potential and efficiently explores individual regions, but has the disadvantage that it can get stuck in large environments not exploring all regions. In this work we present a method that combines both approaches, with FEP as a global exploration planner and RH-NBVP for local exploration. We also present techniques to estimate potential information gain faster, to cache previously estimated gains and to exploit these to efficiently estimate new queries.
In this paper we present a probabilistic approach for mobile robot localization using an incomplete topological world model. The method, which we have termed multi-hypothesis localization (MHL), uses multi-hypothesis Kalman filter based pose tracking combined with a probabilistic formulation of hypothesis correctness to generate and track Gaussian pose hypotheses online. Apart from a lower computational complexity, this approach has the advantage over traditional grid based methods that incomplete and topological world model information can be utilized. Furthermore, the method generates movement commands for the platform to enhance the gathering of information for the pose estimation process. Extensive experiments are presented from two different environments, a typical office environment and an old hospital building.
Thanks to the efforts of the robotics and autonomous systems community,
robots are becoming ever more capable. There is also an increasing demand from
end-users for autonomous service robots that can operate in real environments
for extended periods. In the STRANDS project we are tackling this demand
head-on by integrating state-of-the-art artificial intelligence and robotics
research into mobile service robots, and deploying these systems for long-term
installations in security and care environments. Over four deployments, our
robots have been operational for a combined duration of 104 days autonomously
performing end-user defined tasks, covering 116km in the process. In this
article we describe the approach we have used to enable long-term autonomous
operation in everyday environments, and how our robots are able to use their
long run times to improve their own performance
Abstract-Casual encounters with mobile robots for nonexperts can be a challenge due to lack of an interaction model. The present work is based on the rules from proxemics which are used to design a passing strategy. In narrow corridors the lateral distance of passage is a key parameter to consider. An implemented system has been used in a small study to verify the basic parametric design for such a system. In total 10 subjects evaluated variations in proxemics for encounters with a robot in a corridor setting. The user feedback indicates that entering the intimate sphere of people is less comfortable, however a too significant avoidance is also considered unnecessary. Adequate signaling of avoidance is a behaviour that must be carefully tuned.
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