Note:  The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement no. ICT-2011-288917 “DALi – Devices for Assisted Living”, and from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme – Societal Challenge 1 (DG CONNECT/H) under grant agreement no. 643644 “ACANTO – A CyberphysicAl social NeTwOrk using robot friends”.
Abstract: People with impaired physical and mental ability often find it challenging to negotiate crowded or unfamiliar environments, leading to a vicious cycle of deteriorating mobility and sociability. To address this issue we present a novel motion planning algorithm that is able to intelligently deal with crowded areas, permanent or temporary anomalies in the environment (e.g., road blocks, wet floors) as well as hard and soft constraints (e.g., “keep a toilet within reach of 10 meters during the journey”, “always avoid stairs”). Constraints can be assigned a priority tailored on the user’s needs. The planner has been validated by means of simulations and experiments with elderly people within the context of the DALi European project.