The future generation of robots needs a set of skills to carry out complex tasks autonomously. Among them, autonomous navigation is one of the fundamental capabilities with which these robots must be equipped. Robot navigation in real environments is not simple and has been the focus of the scientific community’s effort for decades. Robot navigation requires, among other functions, environmental perception, path-planning, moving between targets, and real-time reactions to unexpected events.
If people are also included in these real environments, the solutions are increasingly complex. Navigation is no longer limited to reaching the destination by optimizing, for example, the travel time or distance traveled; it must also take into account social conventions, such as not invading personal spaces or not interrupting a conversation. Social navigation is a new challenge for the scientific community and involves using different technologies and strategies: sensing, localization, mapping, approaching, people and object tracking, human–robot interaction, learning, etc.
This Special Issue aims to contribute to the state-of-the-art and present current application of robot navigation, with particular attention to social robots.
Dr. Pedro Núñez Trujillo
Dr. Luis Manso Fernández-Argüéllez
Dr. Luis Vicente Calderita