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This paper presents RoboCart, a proof-of-concept prototype of a robotic shopping assistant for the visually impaired. The purpose of RoboCart is to help visually impaired customers navigate a typical grocery store and carry purchased items. The current hardware and software components of the system are presented. For localization, RoboCart relies on RFID tags deployed at various locations in the store. For navigation, RoboCart relies on laser range finding. Experiences with deploying RoboCart in a real grocery store are described. The current status of the system and its limitations are outlined.
Date of Conference: 2-6 Aug. 2005