Advancing Socially-Aware Navigation for Public Spaces

Roya Salek Shahrezaie, Bethany N. Manalo, Aaron G. Brantley, Casey R. Lynch, David Feil-Seifer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Mobile robots must navigate efficiently, reliably, and appropriately around people when acting in shared social environments. For robots to be accepted in such environments, we explore robot navigation for the social contexts of each setting. Navigating through dynamic environments solely considering a collision-free path has long been solved. In human-robot environments, the challenge is no longer about efficiently navigating from one point to another. Autonomously detecting the context and adapting to an appropriate social navigation strategy is vital for social robots’ long-term applicability in dense human environments. As complex social environments, museums are suitable for studying such behavior as they have many different navigation contexts in a small space.Our prior Socially-Aware Navigation model considered con-text classification, object detection, and pre-defined rules to define navigation behavior in more specific contexts, such as a hallway or queue. This work uses environmental context, object information, and more realistic interaction rules for complex social spaces. In the first part of the project, we convert real-world interactions into algorithmic rules for use in a robot’s navigation system. Moreover, we use context recognition, object detection, and scene data for context-appropriate rule selection. We introduce our methodology of studying social behaviors in complex contexts, different analyses of our text corpus for museums, and the presentation of extracted social norms. Finally, we demonstrate applying some of the rules in scenarios in the simulation environment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRO-MAN 2022 - 31st IEEE International Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication
Subtitle of host publicationSocial, Asocial, and Antisocial Robots
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-7281-8859-1
ISBN (Print)978-1-6654-0680-2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2022
Externally publishedYes
Event31st IEEE International Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN) - Napoli, Italy, Naples, Italy
Duration: 29 Aug 20222 Sept 2022


Conference31st IEEE International Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN)
Abbreviated titleRO-MAN
Internet address


  • Adaptation models
  • Navigation
  • Object detection
  • Museums
  • Behavioral sciences
  • Classification algorithms
  • Reliability
  • n/a OA procedure


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