School of Science and Technology

The robot in the lift

The Ängen facility for ambient assisted living includes a system with a transport robot that can travel around in the apartment building, and also use the elevator. The system has access to the elevator controller (so the same planner sends commands both to the robots and to the elevator, in the right sequence) but can only send the elevator to floors in open loop, and does not have any feedback from the controller. In other words, we do not know what floor the elevator is on, or even the state of the doors. This project aims to address this issue, by working on one of the following topics:

  • Detect status of elevator: For example, using a combination of
    • an IR sensor in the elvator to detect whether the door is open or closed,
    • a camera looking at the the elevator lights (detecting floor number, going up
    or down, etc)
    • inertial measurements (acceleration) from an IMU on the robot,
    • visual signature from robot’s camera when the doors open.
  • Detect people in the elevator and act socially: Don’t enter elevator if there are people inside, unless people move to the back and there is enogh space; wait in queue if there is someone in front of elevator; let people out the elevator before going in. This topic includes people detection using cameras or laser range finders and socially-aware planning.

Contact: Alessandro Saffiotti