Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


Experiences with an Interactive Museum Tour-Guide Robot

Wolfram Burgard*, Armin B. Cremers*, Dieter Fox*, Dirk Hahnel*,
Gerhard Lakemeyer**, Dirk Schulz*, Walter Steiner*, Sebastian Thrun

June 1998

Keywords: Mobile robotics, probabilistic reasoning, localization mapping, planning, collision avoidance, logic, human robot interaction, machine learning, entertainment

This article describes the software architecture of an autonomous, interactive tour-guide robot. It presents a modular, distributed software architecture, which integrates localization, mapping, collision avoidance, planning, and various modules concerned with user interaction. The approach does not require any modifications to the environment. To cope with the various challenges in dynamic and ill-structured environments, the software relies on probabilistic computation, on-line learning, any-time algorithms, and distributed control. Special emphasis has been placed on the design of interactive capabilities that appeal to people's intuition. In mid-1997, the robot was successfully deployed in a densely populated museum, demonstrating reliable operation in hazardous public environments, and raising the museum's attendance by more than 50%. In addition, people all over the world controlled the robot through the Web.

56 pages

*Computer Science Department III, University of Bonn, Germany **Computer Science Department V, Technological University of Aachen,


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