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Sobi: An Interactive Social Service Robot for Long-Term Autonomy in Open Environments

05/07/2021
by   Marvin Stuede, et al.
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Long-term autonomy in service robotics is a current research topic, especially for dynamic, large-scale environments that change over time. We present Sobi, a mobile service robot developed as an interactive guide for open environments, such as public places with indoor and outdoor areas. The robot will serve as a platform for environmental modeling and human-robot interaction. Its main hardware and software components, which we freely license as a documented open source project, are presented. Another key focus is Sobi's monitoring system for long-term autonomy, which restores system components in a targeted manner in order to extend the total system lifetime without unplanned intervention. We demonstrate first results of the long-term autonomous capabilities in a 16-day indoor deployment, in which the robot patrols a total of 66.6 km with an average of 5.5 hours of travel time per weekday, charging autonomously in between. In a user study with 12 participants, we evaluate the appearance and usability of the user interface, which allows users to interactively query information about the environment and directions.

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