Robot-assisted pedestrian regulation in an exit corridor

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version



Due to the faster-is-slower phenomenon in emergency escape, it is desirable to regulate pedestrian flow at the exit or a bottleneck. Modification of pedestrian facilities was previously studied to increase the efficiency and safety by the transportation community. We propose a robot-assisted pedestrian regulation scheme and study passive human-robot interaction (HRI), where the robot acts as a dynamic obstacle that interacts with pedestrians. Such a robot-assisted solution replaces expensive infrastructure modification with real-time reconfigurability. In the paper, we first formulate a robotassisted flow optimization problem based on the social force models of pedestrian dynamics with embedded HRI forces. We then present an online learning algorithm based on adaptive dynamic programming (ADP) to generate motion control so that the robot can replan and adapt its motion to realtime pedestrian flows. The ADP control process uses observed flow information only but not the models of pedestrians, and provides feedback control with online learning and control capability. Simulation results demonstrate efficiency of the proposed method.

Publication Title

IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems