Developing a mobile robot for transport applications in the hospital domain

Masaki Takahashi, Takafumi Suzuki, Hideo Shitamoto, Toshiki Moriguchi, Kazuo Yoshida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


We have been developing MKR (Muratec Keio Robot), an autonomous omni-directional mobile transfer robot system for hospital applications. This robot has a wagon truck to transfer luggage, important specimens, and other materials. This study proposes an obstacle collision avoidance technique for the wagon truck pulling robot which uses an omni-directional wheel system as a safe movement technology. Moreover, this paper proposes a method to reach the goal along a global path computed by path planning without colliding with static and dynamic obstacles. The method is based on virtual potential fields. Several modules with different prediction times are processed in parallel to change the robot response according to its relative velocity and position with respect to the obstacles. The virtual force calculated from each potential field is used to generate the velocity command. Some experiments were carried out to verify the performance of the proposed method. From the experimental results in a hospital it was confirmed that the robot can move along its global path, and reach the goal without colliding with static and moving obstacles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)889-899
Number of pages11
JournalRobotics and Autonomous Systems
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jul 31


  • Motion planning
  • Obstacle avoidance
  • Omni-directional mobile robot
  • Path tracking
  • Prediction time
  • Virtual potential field method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • General Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications


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