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Autonomous Robot Navigation through a Crowded and Dynamic Environment: Using A Novel form of Path Planning to Demonstrate Consideration towards Pedestrians and other Robots

Walker, Ross (2017) Autonomous Robot Navigation through a Crowded and Dynamic Environment: Using A Novel form of Path Planning to Demonstrate Consideration towards Pedestrians and other Robots. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This thesis presents a novel path planning algorithm for robotic crowd navigation through a pedestrian environment. The robot is designed to negotiate its way through the crowd using considerate movements. Unlike many other path planning algorithms, which assume cooperation with other pedestrians, this algorithm is completely independent and requires only observation. A considerate navigation strategy has been developed in this thesis, which utilises consideration as an directs an autonomous mobile robot. Using simple methods of predicting pedestrian movements, as well as simple relative distance and trajectory measurements between the robot and pedestrians, the robot can navigate through a crowd without causing disruption to pedestrian trajectories. Dynamic pedestrian positions are predicted using uncertainty ellipses. A novel Voronoi diagram-visibility graph hybrid roadmap is implemented so that the path planner can exploit any available gaps in between pedestrians, and plan considerate paths. The aim of the considerate path planner is to have the robot behave in specific ways when moving through the crowd. By predicting pedestrian trajectories, the robot can avoid interfering with them. Following preferences to move behind pedestrians, when cutting across their trajectories; to move in the same direction of the crowd when possible; and to slow down in crowded areas, will prevent any interference to individual pedestrians, as well as preventing an increase in congestion to the crowd as a whole. The effectiveness of the considerate navigation strategy is evaluated using simulated pedestrians, multiple mobile robots loaded with the path planning algorithm, as well as a real-life pedestrian dataset. The algorithm will highlight its ability to move with the aforementioned consideration towards each individual dynamic agent.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Engineering (Sheffield) > Automatic Control and Systems Engineering (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.729483
Depositing User: Mr Ross Walker
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2017 10:59
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2018 09:49
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/18833

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