With the appealing ability of combining both mobility and manipulability, mobile robot manipulators have been applied to factory automation, telemedicine, warehousing, etc. Due to the high density of convenience stores in Taiwan, Asia, and other countries, we make further use of mobile robot manipulators to develop an autonomous replenishment system. The replenishment task for a convenience store poses challenges given its narrow aisles and the occasional presence of customers. It thus demands thorough consideration of the planning, navigation, and control of the robot, in addition to customer safety. Correspondingly, we propose strategies for task and path planning, in addition to control and sensor fusion. Specifically, a new collision-free path planning algorithm (the DWA-PS) that consider both customer safety and comfort is developed, along with replenishment and control strategies that utilize the flexibility of the mobile robot manipulator to raise working efficiency. For the performance evaluation, we apply the proposed system to conduct a series of replenishment experiments, including in a convenience store near our university.
- autonomous replenishment system
- convenience store
- customer safety
- mobile robot manipulator