Considering the trend of aging societies, accompanying technology can help frail, elderly individuals participate in daily activities. The ideal accompanying robot should accompany the user in a proper position according to the activity scenarios and context; the prerequisite is that the accompanying robot should quickly move to a designated position and closely maintain it regardless of the direction in which the user moves. This paper proposes a user local coordinate-based strategy to satisfy this need. As a proof of concept, a novel “string-pot” approach was utilized to measure the position difference between the robot and the target. We implemented the control strategy and assessed its performance in our gait lab. The results showed that the robot can follow the user in the designated position while the user performs forward, backward, and lateral movements, turning, and walking along a curve.
- Accompanying robot
- Assistive technology
- Autonomous following in front