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Safe Robot Navigation in Dense Crowds

Objective

CROWDBOT will enable mobile robots to navigate autonomously and assist humans in crowded areas. Today’s robots are programmed to stop when a human, or any obstacle is too close, to avoid coming into contact while moving. This prevents robots from entering densely frequented areas and performing effectively in these high dynamic environments. CROWDBOT aims to fill in the gap in knowledge on close interactions between robots and humans during navigation tasks. The project considers three realistic scenarios: 1) a semi-autonomous wheelchair that must adapt its trajectory to unexpected movements of people in its vicinity to ensure neither its user nor the pedestrians around it are injured; 2) the commercially available Pepper robot that must navigate in a dense crowd while actively approaching people to assist them; 3) the under development robot cuyBot will adapt to compact crowd, being touched and pushed by people. These scenarios generate numerous ethical and safety concerns which this project addresses through a dedicated Ethical and Safety Advisory Board that will design guidelines for robots engaging in interaction in crowded environments.
CROWDBOT gathers the required expertise to develop new robot capabilities to allow robots to move in a safe and socially acceptable manner. This requires achieving step changes in a) sensing abilities to estimate the crowd motion around the robot, b) cognitive abilities for the robot to predict the short term evolution of the crowd state and c) navigation abilities to perform safe motion at close range from people.
Through demonstrators and open software components, CROWDBOT will show that safe navigation tasks can be achieved within crowds and will facilitate incorporating its results into mobile robots, with significant scientific and industrial impact. By extending the robot operation field toward crowded environments, we enable possibilities for new applications, such as robot-assisted crowd traffic management.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/computer and information sciences/software

Call for proposal

H2020-ICT-2017-1
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

RIA - Research and Innovation action

Coordinator

INSTITUT NATIONAL DE RECHERCHE ENINFORMATIQUE ET AUTOMATIQUE
Address
Domaine De Voluceau Rocquencourt
78153 Le Chesnay Cedex
France
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 763 770

Participants (6)

ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE FEDERALE DE LAUSANNE
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 439 500
Address
Batiment Ce 3316 Station 1
1015 Lausanne
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EIDGENOESSISCHE TECHNISCHE HOCHSCHULE ZUERICH
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 706 521,25
Address
Raemistrasse 101
8092 Zuerich
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
RHEINISCH-WESTFAELISCHE TECHNISCHE HOCHSCHULE AACHEN
Germany
EU contribution
€ 516 625
Address
Templergraben 55
52062 Aachen
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
SOFTBANK ROBOTICS EUROPE
France
EU contribution
€ 536 250
Address
Rue Colonel Pierre Avia 43
75015 Paris
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 599 993,75
Address
Gower Street
WC1E 6BT London
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
LOCOMOTEC GMBH
Germany
EU contribution
€ 435 000
Address
Am Hasenberg 3
86899 Landsberg Am Lech
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)