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The Autonomous City Explorer (ACE) project — mobile robot navigation in highly populated urban environments

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4 Author(s)
Lidoris, G. ; Fac. of Electr. Eng., Tech. Univ. Munchen, Munich, Germany ; Rohrmüller, F. ; Wollherr, D. ; Buss, M.

One of the greatest challenges nowadays in robotics is the advancement of robots from industrial tools to companions and helpers of humans, operating in natural, populated environments. In this respect, the Autonomous City Explorer (ACE) project aims to combine the research fields of autonomous mobile robot navigation and human robot interaction. A robot has been created that is capable of navigating in an unknown, highly populated, urban environment, based only on information extracted through interaction with passers-by and its local perception capabilities. This paper describes the algorithms and architecture that make up the navigation subsystem of ACE. More specifically, the algorithms used for Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM), path planning in dynamic environments and behavior selection are presented, as well as the system architecture that integrates them to a complete working system. Results from an extended field experiment, where the robot navigated autonomously through the downtown city area of Munich, are analyzed and show that the robot is capable of long-term, safe navigation in real-world settings.

Published in:

Robotics and Automation, 2009. ICRA '09. IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

12-17 May 2009