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Human-following mobile robot in a distributed intelligent sensor network

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3 Author(s)
K. Morioka ; Inst. of Ind. Sci., Univ. of Tokyo, Japan ; Joo-Ho Lee ; H. Hashimoto

The robots that will be needed in the near future are human-friendly robots that are able to coexist with humans and support humans effectively. To realize this, humans and robots need to be in close proximity to each other as much as possible. Moreover, it is necessary for their interactions to occur naturally. It is desirable for a robot to carry out human following, as one of the human-affinitive movements. The human-following robot requires several techniques: the recognition of the target human, the recognition of the environment around the robot, and the control strategy for following a human stably. In this research, an intelligent environment is used in order to achieve these goals. An intelligent environment is a space in which many sensors and intelligent devices are distributed. Mobile robots exist in this space as physical agents providing humans with services. A mobile robot is controlled to follow a walking human using distributed intelligent sensors as stably and precisely as possible. The control law based on the virtual spring model is proposed to mitigate the difference of movement between the human and the mobile robot. The proposed control law is applied to the intelligent environment and its performance is verified by the computer simulation and the experiment.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics  (Volume:51 ,  Issue: 1 )