Rainer K├╝mmerle, Michael Ruhnke, Bastian Steder, Cyrill Stachniss, and Wolfram Burgard.
Autonomous Robot Navigation in Highly Populated Pedestrian Zones.
Journal of Field Robotics, 2014.


In the past, there has been a tremendous progress in the area of autonomous robot navigation and a large variety of robots have been developed who demonstrated robust navigation capabilities indoors, in non-urban outdoor environments, or on roads and relatively few approaches focus on navigation in urban environments such as city centers. Urban areas, however, introduce numerous challenges for autonomous robots as they are rather unstructured and dynamic. In this paper, we present a navigation system for mobile robots designed to operate in crowded city environments and pedestrian zones. We describe the different components of this system including a SLAM module for dealing with huge maps of city centers, a planning component for inferring feasible paths taking also into account the traversability and type of terrain, a module for accurate localization in dynamic environments, and means for calibrating and monitoring the platform. Our navigation system has been implemented and tested in several large-scale field tests, in which a real robot autonomously navigated over several kilometers in a complex urban environment. This also included a public demonstration, during which the robot autonomously traveled along a more than three kilometer long route through the city center of Freiburg, Germany.

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BibTeX entry:

  author = {K{\"u}mmerle, Rainer and Ruhnke, Michael and Steder, Bastian and Stachniss,
     Cyrill and Burgard, Wolfram},
  doi = {10.1002/rob.21534},
  title = {Autonomous Robot Navigation in Highly Populated Pedestrian Zones},
  journal = {Journal of Field Robotics},
  year = {2014}