Hand-Drawn Maps for Robot Navigation

Marjorie Skubic, Sam Blisard, Andy Carle, and Pascal Matsakis

The goal of this work is to create a robot interface that allows a novice user to guide, control, and/or program a robot to perform some task. The assumption is that, although the user may be a domain expert in how the task should be done, he is not an expert in robotics. During the actual robot use, he should focus on the task to be done rather than worrying about the robot or the interaction modality. To address this goal, we have been investigating the use of hand-drawn route maps to transfer navigation tasks to robots. In the paper, we provide an overview and current status of ongoing work with sketches. We discuss what type of information would be useful for directing and controlling a robot and then show how this information can be extracted from a sketched route map, in the form of spatial relationships. An analysis example of a PDA-generated sketch is included. Also, preliminary results are presented which compare the analysis of a sketched map with that of a real map.

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