Autonomous Robots

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 29–41 | Cite as

Robot-assisted wayfinding for the visually impaired in structured indoor environments

  • Vladimir Kulyukin
  • Chaitanya Gharpure
  • John Nicholson
  • Grayson Osborne
Article

Abstract

We present a robot-assisted wayfinding system for the visually impaired in structured indoor environments. The system consists of a mobile robotic guide and small passive RFID sensors embedded in the environment. The system is intended for use in indoor environments, such as office buildings, supermarkets and airports. We describe how the system was deployed in two indoor environments and evaluated by visually impaired participants in a series of pilot experiments. We analyze the system’s successes and failures and outline our plans for future research and development.

Keywords

Assistive robotics Robot-assisted wayfinding RFID-based localization Human-robot interaction 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Addlesee, M. Curwen, R., Hodges S., Newman J., Steggles P., and Ward A. 2001. Implementing a sentient computing system. IEEE Computer, August:2–8.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Agre, P. 1988. The dynamic structure of everday life. Ph.D. Thesis. MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Benjamin, J. M., Ali, N. A., and Schepis, A. F. 1973. A Laser cane for the blind. In Proceedings of San Diego Medical Symposium.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bissit, D. and Heyes, A. 1980. An application of biofeedback in the rehabilitation of the blind. Applied Ergonomics 11(1):31–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Borenstein, J. and Koren, Y. 1989. Real-time obstacle avoidance for fast mobile robots. IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics 19:1179–1187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Borenstein, J. and Ulrich, I. 1994. The guidecane—A computer. In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, San Diego, CA.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Burgard, W., Cremers, A., Fox, D., Hahnel, D., Lakemeyer, G., Schulz, D., Steiner, W., and Thrun, S. 1999. Experiences with an interactive museum tour-guide robot, Artificial Intelligence, 114:3–55.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Fong, T. and Thorpe, C. 2001. Vehicle teleoperation interfaces. Autonomous Robots, 11(2):9–18.MATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Gharpure, C. 2004. Orientation Free RFID-Based Navigation in a Robotic Guide for the Visually Impaired, Masters Thesis. Department of Computer Science, Utah State University.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Horswill, I. 1993. Polly: A vision-based artificial agent. In Proceedings of the Conference of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-1993), Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kantor, G. and Singh, S. 2002. Preliminary results in range-only localization and mapping. Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA-2002), Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Khatib, O. 1985. Real-time obstacle avoidance for manipulators and mobile robots. In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA-1985), St. Louis, Missouri.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Koren, Y. and Borenstein, J. 1991. Potential field methods and their inherent limitations for mobile robot navigation. In Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA-1991), Sacramento, CA.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kulyukin, V. and Blair, M. 2003. Distributed tracking and guidance in indoor environments. In Proceedings of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA-2003), Atlanta, GA, avail. on CD-ROM.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kulyukin, V., Sute, P., Gharpure, C., and Pavithran, S. 2004. Perception of audio cues in robot-assisted navigation. In Proceedings of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA-2004), Orlando, FL, avail. on CD- ROM.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kulyukin, V., Gharpure, C., and De Graw, N. 2004. Human-Robot Interaction in a Robotic Guide for the Visually Impaired. In Proceedings of the AAAI Spring Symposium on Interaction between Humans and Autonomous Systems over Extended Operation, Stanford, CA.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kulyukin, V. 2004. Human-Robot Interaction through Gesture-Free Spoken Dialogue. Autonomous Robots 16(3):239–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kulyukin, V., Gharpure, C., Nicholson, J., and Pavithran, S. 2004. RFID in robot-assisted indoor navigation for the visually impaired. In Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Systems and Robots (IROS-2004), Sendai, Japan.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kulyukin, V., Gharpure, C., and Nicholson, J. 2005. RoboCart: Toward robot-assisted navigation of grocery stores by the visually impaired. In Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Systems and Robots (IROS-2005), Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Kupiers, B. 2000. The spatial semantic hierarchy. Artificial Intelligence 119:191–233.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    LaPlante, M. and Carlson, D. 2000. Disability in the United States: Prevalence and Causes. National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research, U.S. Department of Education: Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Montemerlo, M., Pineau, J., Roy, N., Thrun, S., and Verma, V. 2002. Experiences with a mobile robotic guide for the elderly. In Proceedings of the Conference of the American Association for Articial Intelligence (AAAI-2002), Edmonton, AB.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Mori, H. and Kotani, S. 1998. Robotic travel aid for the blind: HARUNOBU-6. Second European Conference on Disability, Virtual Reality, and Assistive Technology, S⊙vde, Sweden.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    http://www.opencyc.org. 2003. The OpenCyc Project: Formalized Common Knowledge. Cycorp, Inc.
  25. 25.
    Pfaffenberger, C., Scott, J. P., Fuller, J., Ginsburg, B. E., and Bielfelt, S. W. 1976. Guide Dogs for the Blind: Their Selection, Development, and Training. Elsevier Scientific Publishing: Amsterdam, Holland.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Ross, D. 2001. Implementing assistive technology on wearable computers. IEEE Intelligent Systems May:2–8.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Ross, D. and Blasch, B.B. 2002. Development of a wearable computer orientation system. IEEE Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 6:49–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Simmons, R. 1996. The Curvature-Velocity method for local obstacle avoidance. In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA-1996), Minneapolis, USA.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Shoval, S. Borenstein, J., and Koren, Y. 1994. In Mobile robot obstacle avoidance in a computerized travel for the blind. In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, San Diego, CA.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Thrun, S., Bennewitz, M., Burgard, W., Cremers, A. B., Dellaert, F., Fox, D., Hahnel, D., Rosenberg, C., Roby, N., Schutle, J., and Schultz, D. 1999. Minerva: A second generation mobile tour-guide robot. In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA-1999), Antwerp, Belgium.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Tinbergen, N. 1976. Animal in its World: Laboratory Experiments and General Papers. Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Tsukiyama, T. 2003. Navigation system for the mobile robots using RFID tags. In Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Advanced Robotics, Coimbra, Portugal.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Hahnel, D., Burgard, W., Fox, D., Fishkin, K., and Philipose, M. 2003. Mapping and Localization with RFID Technology. Intel Research Institute, Seattle, WA.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Sute, P. 2004. Perception of Audio Cues in Robot-Assisted Navigation for the Visually Impaired, Masters Report. Department of Computer Science, Utah State University.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vladimir Kulyukin
    • 1
  • Chaitanya Gharpure
    • 1
  • John Nicholson
    • 1
  • Grayson Osborne
    • 2
  1. 1.Computer Science Assistive Technology Laboratory (CSATL), Department of Computer ScienceUtah State UniversityLogan
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUtah State UniversityLogan

Personalised recommendations