Robot social-aware navigation framework to accompany people walking side-by-side

Gonzalo Ferrer, Anaís Garrell Zulueta, Fernando Herrero Cotarelo, Alberto Sanfeliu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


We present a novel robot social-aware navigation framework to walk side-by-side with people in crowded urban areas in a safety and natural way. The new system includes the following key issues: to propose a new robot social-aware navigation model to accompany a person; to extend the Social Force Model, “Extended Social-Force Model”, to consider the person and robot’s interactions; to use a human predictor to estimate the destination of the person the robot is walking with; and to interactively learning the parameters of the social-aware navigation model using multimodal human feedback. Finally, a quantitative metric based on people’s personal spaces and comfortableness criteria, is introduced in order to evaluate quantitatively the performance of the robot’s task. The validation of the model is accomplished throughout an extensive set of simulations and real-life experiments. In addition, a volunteers’ survey is used to measure the acceptability of our robot companion’s behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)775-793
Number of pages19
JournalAutonomous Robots
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Human–robot interaction
  • Robot companion
  • Service robots
  • Urban robot navigation


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