Prior approaches to human guidance using robots inside a building have typically been limited to a single robot guide that navigates a human from start to goal. However, due to their limited mobility, the robot is often unable to keep up with the human's natural speed. In contrast, this paper addresses this difference in mobility between robots and people by presenting an approach that uses multiple robots to guide a human. Our approach uses a compact topological graph representation of the environment, and we first present the procedure for generating this representation. Next, we formulate the multi-robot guidance problem as a Markov Decision Process (MDP). Using a model of human motion in the presence of guiding robots, we define the transition function for this MDP. Finally, we solve the MDP using Value Iteration to obtain an optimal policy for placing robots and evaluate this policy's effectiveness.
In AAAI Spring 2014 Symposium on Qualitative Representations for Robots (AAAI-SSS), March 2014.

Piyush Khandelwal Ph.D. Alumni piyushk [at] cs utexas edu
Peter Stone Faculty pstone [at] cs utexas edu