Approaching a person in a socially acceptable manner using expanding random trees

In real world scenarios for mobile robots, socially acceptable navigation is a key component to interact naturally with other persons. On the one hand this enables a robot to behave more human-like, and on the other hand it increases the acceptance of the user towards the robot as an interaction partner. As part of this research field, we present in this paper a strategy of approaching a person in a socially acceptable manner. Therefore, we use the theory of ”personal space” and present a method of modeling this space to enable a mobile robot to approach a person from the front. We use a standard Dynamic Window Approach to control the robot motion and, since the personal space model could not be used directly, a graph planner in configuration space, to plan an optimal path by expanding the graph with the use of the DWA’s update rule. Additionally, we give a proof of concept with first preliminary experiments.


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