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Proceedings Paper

Helpmate: A Mobile Robot For Transport Applications
Author(s): Bala Krishnamurthy; Bruce Barrows; Steve King; Tim Stewis; Will Pong; Carl Weiman
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Paper Abstract

HelpMate is a mobile robotic materials transport system that performs fetch and carry tasks at Danbury Hospital. It navigates along the main arteries of the hospital, crossing between buildings via interconnecting corridors and uses infrared communication links to communicate with the elevator controller. HelpMate has been designed to work safely around humans, smoothly rerouting its local path to avoid obstacles while maintaining its mission. Safety features include both non-contact and contact obstacle sensing, emergency stop switches, auto/manual mode switches, flashing warning lights, turn indicators, and a failsafe controls design. HelpMate uses odometry, sonar and infrared proximity sensors, and vision as navigation inputs. An onboard card reader provides authorized personnel access to run time control and cargo transfer. Sensor information collected en route is used to build and maintain local navigation maps. A general knowledge of the structured properties of the world is assumed, and used both in collecting and rationalizing the sensor information and updating the robot's local knowledge base. All navigation and path planning is conducted under the direction of onboard processors.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 March 1989
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 1007, Mobile Robots III, (10 March 1989); doi: 10.1117/12.949110
Show Author Affiliations
Bala Krishnamurthy, Transitions Research Corporation (United States)
Bruce Barrows, Transitions Research Corporation (United States)
Steve King, Transitions Research Corporation (United States)
Tim Stewis, Transitions Research Corporation (United States)
Will Pong, Transitions Research Corporation (United States)
Carl Weiman, Transitions Research Corporation (United States)


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

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