This paper introduces a three-dimensional volumetric representation for safe navigation. It is based on the OctoMap representation framework that probabilistically fuses sensor measurements to represent the occupancy probability of volumes. To achieve safe navigation in a domestic environment this representation is extended with a model of the occupancy probability if no sensor measurements are received, and a proactive approach to deal with unpredictably moving obstacles that can arise from behind occlusions by always expecting obstacles to appear on the robot’s path. By combining the occupancy probability of volumes with the position uncertainty of the robot, a probability of collision is obtained. It is shown that by relating this probability to a safe velocity limit a robot in a real domestic environment can move close to a certain maximum velocity but decides to attain a slower safe velocity limit when it must, analogous to slowing down in traffic when approaching an occluded intersection.
- Collision avoidance
- Mobile robots