Multiple Abstraction Hierarchies for Mobile Robot Operation in Large Environments
This book focuses on the e?cient performance of mobile robots through the use of a multi-hierarchical and symbolic representation of the environment. A mobile robot must possess some symbolic representation of its envir- ment when it is intended to carry out deliberative (planned) operations or to reason about the world. However, symbolic representations of real, complex environments usually become so large that it should be conveniently arranged in order to facilitate and, in some cases, make possible its use. Apartfromthe drawback ofdealing with alarge amount ofsymbolic inf- mation, some other problems (not completely solved yet in the scienti?c l- erature) stand out when using symbolic representations. One is keeping the symbolic model properly arranged (optimized) with respect to the robot tasks (di?erentmodelscanbeconstructedforrepresentingagivenenvironment,but notall ofthemareequally suited fore?cient operation). Another ismainta- ing the model coherent with reality, that is, the creation and maintenance of symbolic data from sensorial data (the so-called symbol grounding problem). This book addresses these problems through multi-hierarchical structures. Our symbolic structures, based on the concept of abstraction, mimic the way in which humans arrange information, allowing a mobile robot to speed up its operation in large environments. Moreover, this book provides practical solutionstestedonrealrobotslikearoboticwheelchairforphysicallyimpaired or elderly people. For that, a new robotic architecture which includes mul- hierarchical symbolic structures is proposed that permits a high degree of human integration into the robotic system. It enables the wheelchair driver to cooperate with the robot as though both of them were part of the same system.
Addresses the main problems arising from the use of a symbolic representation for mobile robots through multi-hierarchical structuresFocuses on the efficient performance of mobile robots through the use of a multi-hierarchical and symbolic representation of the environmentProvides practical solutions tested on real robots like a robotic wheelchair for handicapped or elderly people