A robot that approaches pedestrians

Satoru Satake, Takayuki Kanda, Dylan F. Glas, Michita Imai, Hiroshi Ishiguro, Norihiro Hagita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)


When robots serve in urban areas such as shopping malls, they will often be required to approach people in order to initiate service. This paper presents a technique for human-robot interaction that enables a robot to approach people who are passing through an environment. For successful approach, our proposed planner first searches for a target person at public distance zones anticipating his/her future position and behavior. It chooses a person who does not seem busy and can be reached from a frontal direction. Once the robot successfully approaches the person within the social distance zone, it identifies the person's reaction and provides a timely response by coordinating its body orientation. The system was tested in a shopping mall and compared with a simple approaching method. The result demonstrates a significant improvement in approaching performance; the simple method was only 35.1% successful, whereas the proposed technique showed a success rate of 55.9%.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6362237
Pages (from-to)508-524
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Transactions on Robotics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Anticipating human behaviors
  • approaching people
  • human-robot interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Satake, S., Kanda, T., Glas, D. F., Imai, M., Ishiguro, H., & Hagita, N. (2013). A robot that approaches pedestrians. IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 29(2), 508-524. [6362237]. https://doi.org/10.1109/TRO.2012.2226387