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TOURBOT and WebFAIR: Web-operated mobile robots for tele-presence in populated exhibitions

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7 Author(s)
Trahanias, P. ; Found. for Res. & Technol. Hellas, Inst. of Comput. Sci., Crete, Greece ; Burgard, W. ; Argyros, A. ; Hahnel, D.
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This paper presents a number of techniques that are needed for realizing Web-operated mobile robots. These techniques include effective map-building capabilities, a method for obstacle avoidance based on a combination of range and visual information, and advanced Web and onboard robot interfaces. In addition to video streams, the system provides high-resolution virtual reality visualizations that also include the people in the vicinity of the robot. This increases the flexibility of the interface and simultaneously allows a user to understand the navigation actions of the robot. The techniques described in this article have been successfully deployed within the EU-funded projects TOURBOT and WebFAIR, which aimed to develop interactive tour-guided robots able to serve Web as well as on-site visitors. Technical developments in the framework of these projects have resulted in robust and reliable systems that have been demonstrated and validated in real-world conditions. Equally important, the system setup time has been drastically reduced, facilitating its porting to new environments.

Published in:

Robotics & Automation Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:12 ,  Issue: 2 )