Source – economictimes.indiatimes.com
Engineers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have designed an autonomous robot that can keep pace with foot traffic while observing the general social codes that pedestrians follow to avoid oncoming obstacles while keeping up a steady walking pace.
In drive tests, the robot, which resembles a knee-high kiosk on wheels, successfully avoided collisions while keeping up with the average flow of pedestrians, said the researchers who have detailed their robotic design in a paper scheduled to be presented at the IEEE Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems to be held in Vancouver, Canada, in September.
“For instance, small robots could operate on sidewalks for package and food delivery. Similarly, personal mobility devices could transport people in large, crowded spaces, such as shopping malls, airports, and hospitals,” Chen said.
Chen and his colleagues used standard approaches to solve the problems of localisation and perception.
For the problem of localisation, they used open-source algorithms to map the robot’s environment and determine its position. To control the robot, they employed standard methods used to drive autonomous ground vehicles.
“We want it to be travelling naturally among people and not be intrusive,” study co-author Michael Everett said.