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This paper proposes a navigation algorithm that considers the states of humans and robots in order to achieve harmonious coexistence between them. A robot navigation in the presence of humans and other robots is rarely considered in the field of robotics. When navigating through a space filled with humans and robots with different functions, a robot should not only pay attention to obstacle avoidance and goal seeking, it should also take into account whether it interferes with other people or robots. To deal with this problem, we propose several harmonious rules, which guarantee a safe and smooth navigation in a human-robot environment. Based on these rules, a practical navigation method-human-centered sensitive navigation (HCSN)-is proposed. HCSN considers the fact that both humans and robots have sensitive zones, depending on their security regions or on a human's psychological state. We model these zones as various sensitive fields with priorities, whereby robots tend to yield socially acceptable movements.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2011