Autonomous navigation for mobile service robots in urban pedestrian environments
This paper describes the total system design and implementation of an outdoor mobile robot with an autonomous road-crossing function intended for urban environments. The developed robot is capable of navigating along sidewalks while simultaneously detecting pedestrian push-button boxes. If a button box is detected, the robot can autonomously traverse up to it with high precision and activate the push button with a finger. Next, it approaches the crossing zone, detects the zebra stripes and perceives the trajectory required to cross. Upon detecting a green signal, the robot then finally crosses the road to reach the opposite side of the road and continue to its intended destination. We tested the robot in a real and unmodified outdoor environment and obtained promising results. More application-oriented, the novelty of this work is that not only is the robot capable of crossing roads autonomously, it can also autonomously activate pedestrian push buttons in a real world outdoor environment; there are not many robots that can perform such an action in an outdoor environment.