Semantic path planning for indoor navigation and household tasks

Sun, Nico and Yang, Erfu and Corney, Jonathan (2019) Semantic path planning for indoor navigation and household tasks. In: The 20th Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems Conference (TAROS 2019), 2019-07-03 - 2019-07-05, Queen Mary University of London. (In Press)

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Assisting people with daily living tasks in their own homes with a robot requires a navigation through a cluttered and varying environment. Sometimes the only possible path would be blocked by an obstacle which needs to be moved away but not into other obstructing regions like the space required for opening a door. This paper presents semantic assisted path planning in which a gridded semantic map is used to improve navigation among movable obstacles (NAMO) and partially plan simple household tasks like cleaning a carpet or moving objects to another location. Semantic planning allows the execution of tasks expressed in human-like form instead of mathematical concepts like coordinates. In our numerical experiments, spatial planning was completed well within a typical human-human dialogue response time, allowing for an immediate response by the robot.