W. Burgard, A.B. Cremers, D. Fox, D. Hähnel, G. Lakemeyer, D. Schulz, W. Steiner, and S. Thrun

The Interactive Museum Tour-Guide Robot

Proc. of the Fifteenth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-98)

Best paper award!



This paper describes the software architecture of an autonomous tour-guide/tutor robot. This robot was recently deployed in the ``Deutsches Museum Bonn,'' were it guided hundreds of visitors through the museum during a six-day deployment period. The robot's control software integrates low-level probabilistic reasoning with high-level problem solving embedded in first order logic. A collection of software innovations, described in this paper, enabled the robot to navigate at high speeds through dense crowds, while reliably avoiding collisions with obstacles---some of which could not even be sensed. Also described in this paper is a user interface tailored towards non-expert users, which we believe was essential for the robot's success in the museum. Based on these results, this paper argues that time is ripe for the development of AI-based commercial service robots that assist people in everyday life.


Full paper [.ps.gz] (2170 kb, 8 pages)


  AUTHOR            = {Burgard, W. and Cremers, A.B. and Fox, D. and H{\"a}hnel, D. and Lakemeyer, G. and Schulz, D. and Steiner, W. and Thrun, S.},
  TITLE                  = {The Interactive Museum Tour-Guide Robot},
  YEAR                   = {1998},
  BOOKTITLE     = {Proc.~of the National Conference on Artificial Intelligence}

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