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Proceedings Paper

Path Planning And Collision Avoidance For An Indoor Security Robot
Author(s): Gary Gilbreath; H. R. Everett
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Paper Abstract

Any mobile robot which must operate in a dynamically changing indoor environment, such as an office, laboratory, or warehouse, must be able to detect and successfully avoid unexpected obstacles. Transient objects such as chairs, doors, trash cans, etc. change position or state frequently, and thus cannot be assigned a static representation in an "absolute" X-Y planview map of the workspace. The most simplistic path planning scheme therefore assumes there are no transient objects in this global model for the initial "find-path" operation. For collision avoidance purposes, a secondary "relative" model of the robot's immediate surroundings is created from real world sensor data collected as the robot is moving, and used to find a path around each individual obstruction as it is encountered. No information regarding the position of permanent objects is available in this smaller relative model, and the position of each transient object is forgotten as soon as it no longer obstructs the path. Conversely, if the absolute position of each detected obstruction is simply recorded in the global map, the resulting model eventually fills up with clutter and the find-path operation fails because no free path exists. This paper discusses a robust approach for map maintenance implemented on a prototype security robot, wherein transient objects are added to the global map as they are encountered, and removed from the model later if no longer detected at the same location. In this manner, subsequent find-path operations will avoid previously identified obstructions, and information on the location of both per-manent as well as transient objects is available when reacting to the discovery of a new obstruction.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 March 1989
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 1007, Mobile Robots III, (10 March 1989); doi: 10.1117/12.949078
Show Author Affiliations
Gary Gilbreath, Naval Ocean Systems Center (United States)
H. R. Everett, Naval Ocean Systems Center (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1007:
Mobile Robots III
William J. Wolfe, Editor(s)

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