Mrs. Katz is an older lady living on her own. She is eighty years old, smart and witty as she has always been, but physically fragile. It is important for her to remain in her own home, and maintain an independent life. This is why she has “Rupert”, a one arm multi-functional platform robot that serves as her aid. While finishing her breakfast at the small dining table in the kitchen, Rupert is waiting in its position by the kitchen’s doorpost for new instructions. Knowing that her grandson and family are coming for a visit, Mrs. Katz wants to replace the tablecloth on her main dining table. She needs to get it from the closet in her spare bedroom. “Follow me” she signals to Rupert as she heads toward the corridor.
- This is where the story ends and our research begins.
The Follow me setup
For Follow me we use a Pioneer LX robot run by ROS on a Linux OS. The Pioneer LX is equipped with an integrated on-board computer. The robot includes 4 front and rear sonar sensors, and a forward bumper panel containing 2 sensors. Its laser rangefinder has a 250◦ field of view and a maximum range of 15 meters . The laser scanning is two-dimensional and located about 190 mm above the surface. An external Kinect 2.0 was added to the robot and was located at about 1.5m above ground. The Kinect is connected to an external laptop computer, on which we execute our person tracking and following code. The robot commands were sent to the robot’s onboard computer using a router.