Autonomous robot navigation in outdoor cluttered pedestrian walkways

Yoichi Morales, Alexander Carballo, Eijiro Takeuchi, Atsushi Aburadani, Takashi Tsubouchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes an implementation of a mobile robot system for autonomous navigation in outdoor concurred walkways. The task was to navigate through nonmodified pedestrian paths with people and bicycles passing by. The robot has multiple redundant sensors, which include wheel encoders, an inertial measurement unit, a differential global positioning system, and four laser scanner sensors. All the computation was done on a single laptop computer. A previously constructed map containing waypoints and landmarks for position correction is given to the robot. The robot system's perception, road extraction, and motion planning are detailed. The system was used and tested in a 1-km autonomous robot navigation challenge held in the City of Tsukuba, Japan, named "Tsukuba Challenge 2007." The proposed approach proved to be robust for outdoor navigation in cluttered and crowded walkways, first on campus paths and then running the challenge course multiple times between trials and the challenge final. The paper reports experimental results and overall performance of the system. Finally the lessons learned are discussed. The main contribution of this work is the report of a system integration approach for autonomous outdoor navigation and its evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-635
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Field Robotics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Aug

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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