Dependability of Mobile Robots in Direct Interaction with Humans
Operating interactive mobile robots in unmodified natural environments such as in museums or at exposition areas impose requirements on the robots, which are incomparably higher than demands made on the capabilities of industrial robots. Whereas industrial robots are usually separated from their user, interactive museum or exposition guide robots are designed to directly interact with humans. The dependability of such a robot’s navigation system is thus essential. Different methods to implement a mobile robot’s navigation system are presented and evaluated. Technical implementations of dependable localization, path planning, and obstacle avoidance systems, developed at Fraunhofer IPA, are further presented. Three installations of dependable museum and exposition robots interacting with, entertaining and giving information to visitors will be presented. The longest installation has been in daily operation since March 25, 2000 without noteworthy problems.
Keywords: Mobile Robots, Museum Robots, Exhibition Robots, Navigation, Localization, Path Planning, Obstacle Avoidance
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