MINERVA: Carnegie Mellon's Robotic Tourguide Project Minerva's Image

Welcome! You have just entered one of the most exciting web sites in mobile robotics. Minerva is an autonomous robot that moves daily through crowds at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. This web site allows you to remotely send Minerva through the museum and watch her operations. Become a robot! Look through Minerva's eyes! Tell the robot where to go! Make people in the museum following the robot go where you want!

Minerva is a talking robot designed to accommodate people in public spaces. She perceives her environment through her sensors (cameras, laser range finders, ultrasonic sensors), and decides what to do using her computers. Minerva actively approaches people, offers tours, and then leads them from exhibit to exhibit. When Minerva is happy, she sings and smiles at nearby people. But don't block her way too often--otherwise, she'll become frustrated and might frown at you and honk her horn!

The goal of the Minerva project is to bring robots closer to people. Recent progress in robotics and artificial intelligence has made it possible to build interactive mobile robots that operate highly reliably in crowded environments. In the next decade, robots like Minerva are expected to become part of many people's lives, where they will assist them in their everyday activities, perform janitorial services, or simply entertain them. This project is carried out jointly by Carnegie Mellon University's Robot Learning Laboratory and the University of Bonn's Computer Science Department III, and sponsored by the Lemelson Center at the National Museum of American History. Minerva is a next generation robotic tourguide, built by the same group that developed the world's first robotic museum tourguide Rhino, displayed in the Deutsches Museum Bonn.

Want more information? Download a paper, find out about the software that controls Minerva, the people who developed it, and the company who developed Minerva's hardware.

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