JRM Vol.18 No.4 pp. 511-518
doi: 10.20965/jrm.2006.p0511


Loose Guide for Passive Omnidirectional Mobility Aid

Naemeh Nejatbakhsh*,** and Kazuhiro Kosuge**

*Sonic/Automation Discipline, Schlumberger K. K., 2-2-1 Fuchinobe, Sagamihara 229-0006, Japan

**Department of Bioengineering and Robotics, Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University, 6-6-01 Aobayama, Sendai 980-8579, Japan

October 11, 2005
June 2, 2006
August 20, 2006
passive robotics, omnidirectional, mobility aid, path tracking, artificial potential field
This paper details the design and control of an intelligent mobility aid for the elderly and gait-disabled, called Omni RT Walker (ORTW). Omni RT Walker-II, version 2 of ORTW, consists of an omnidirectional platform and uses magneto-rheological brakes for passive control. ORTW-II enables the elderly to use the driving skills they possess while supplementing movement that may have declined due to their age or fatigue. We choose indoor navigation as the task to be realized by shared control of ORTW-II. Unlike most path tracking methods, which attempt to lead an objective system on a desired trajectory, our new algorithm restricts mobility to a pathway called the Potential Canal, while mobility is conducted by the user. In systems with direct human interaction similar to mobility aids, our proposal is expected to increase user-dependability in system operation while increasing user freedom and safety. A collision-free Potential Canal is maintained using realtime modification based on environmental information. Experimental results are included to demonstrate path tracking accuracy and quality.
Cite this article as:
N. Nejatbakhsh and K. Kosuge, “Loose Guide for Passive Omnidirectional Mobility Aid,” J. Robot. Mechatron., Vol.18 No.4, pp. 511-518, 2006.
Data files:
  1. [1] Japan Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Statistics Bureau,
  2. [2] R. C. Coile, and B. E. Trusko, “Healthcare 2020: Challenge for the Millennium,” Health Management Technology, pp. 34-38, August, 1999.
  3. [3] O. Chuy, Y. Hirata, and K. Kosuge, “Control of Walking Support System Based on Variable Center of Rotation,” Proceeding of IEEE/RSJ Int. Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems, pp. 2289-2294, 2004.
  4. [4] H. Yu, M. Spenko, and S. Dubowsky, “An Adaptive Shared Control System – for an Intelligent Mobility Aid for the Elderly,” Autonomous Robots 5, Vol.15, pp. 53-66, 2003.
  5. [5] B. Graf, “Reactive Navigation of an Intelligent Robot Walking Aid,” Proceeding of ROMAN2001, pp. 353-358, 2001.
  6. [6] S. MacNamara, and G. Lacey, “A Smart Walker for the Frail Visually Impaired,” Proceeding of the 2000 IEEE International Conference on Robotics & Automation, pp. 1354-1359, 2000.
  7. [7] G. Wasson, P. Sheth, M. Alwan, K. Granata, A. Ledoux, and C. Huang, “User Intent in a Shared Control Framework for Pedestrain Mobility Aids,” Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ Intl. Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Las Vegas, Nevada, pp. 2962-2967, 2003.
  8. [8] G. Wasson, J. Gunderson, S. Graves, and R. Felder, “An Assistive Robotic Agent for Pedestrian Mobility,” International Conference on Autonomous Agent 2001, pp. 169-173, 2001.
  9. [9] Y. Hirata, A. Hara, and K. Kosuge, “Passive-type Intelligent Walking Support System “RT Walker”,” Proceeding of 2004 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, pp. 3871-3876, 2004.
  10. [10] Lord Corporation,
  11. [11] P. F. Muir, and C. P. Neuman, “Kinematic Modeling of Wheeled Mobile Robots,” Journal of Robotic Systems, Vol.4, No.2, 1987.
  12. [12] M. King, B. Zhu, and S. Tang, “Optimal Path Planning,” Mobile Robots, Vol.8, No.2, pp. 520-531, March, 2001.
  13. [13] K. Jiang, “A Shortest Path Based Path Planning Algorithm for Nonholonomic Mobile Robots,” Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems 24, pp. 347-366, 1999.
  14. [14] A. Pozo-Ruz, C. Urdiales, A. Bandera, E. J. Perez, and F. Sandoval, “A Path Tracking Method for Autonomous Mobile Robots Based on Grid Decomposition,” Proc. of the 7th Symposium on Intelligent Robotic Systems (SIRS’99), pp. 465-469, Coimbra - Portugal, 1999.
  15. [15] J. S. Zelek, “Dynamic Path Planning,”
  16. [16] R. C. Arkin, “Motor Schema-Based Mobile Robot Navigation,” The Int. Journal of Robotics Research, pp. 92-112, August, 1989.
  17. [17] O. Khatib, “Real-Time Obstacle Avoidance for Manipulators and Mobile Robots,” the International Journal of Robotics Research, Vol.5, No.1, pp. 90-98, 1986.
  18. [18] S. Quinlan, “Real-Time Modification of Collision-Free Paths,” Ph.D. Thesis Dissertation, Department of Computer Science, Stanford University, 1994.

*This site is desgined based on HTML5 and CSS3 for modern browsers, e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera.

Last updated on Jun. 19, 2024