PRE2018 1 Group3 0969145

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Contents

introduction

A robot navigating through a supermarket will not only have to avoid collision but also choose a route to their destination. The obvious choice is of course to always take the shortest path, however a supermarket will typically have multiple paths of the same length because of their grid-like layout and distance should not be the only factor we take into account when choosing a path, for example we might want to avoid dense groups of people. This research looks at the theoretical options for choosing a path and compares them.

Note that people will still be encountered and will still have to be avoided locally but the point is to minimize the amount this occurs.

relevant requirments

The main requirements we are taking into consideration here are:

1. Customers should feel safe

2. Robots should not get in the way

These requirements are respected by trying to avoid situations that are difficult to navigate through, minimizing situations where the robot has to move erratically or get too close to people to avoid them.

environment

Benefits

The robot has to function in a supermarket which is a mostly fixed environment. When navigating this environment it would be ideal to take advantage of the fact that the whole supermarket could be observed at all times by cameras. At the very least we can assume we know the general layout of the store so that the only thing we must watch for is obstructions. Up to date information on where people and other potential obstructions reside in the supermarket allows the robot to plan a path that minimizes encounters.

Difficulties

People are constantly moving around the supermarket. Their movement may to some extent be predictable but a robot in a supermarket environment should not risk nearly bumping into people or moving out of the way at the last moment since these actions could frighten or annoy some people.

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