The aim of this Topic Group (TG) is addressing common topics related to the Autonomous Navigation. Motion is a necessary capability in many of the current and future robotics applications (e.g., service robots, industrial mobile co-workers, advanced logistics, field robotics, etc.). In recent years, we have seen the explosion on the number of market-ready examples of mobile robots in many sectors.


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Navigation can be summarized as the combination of three fundamental competences:

  • Path planning and motion control
  • Localization
  • World perception and modelling: ranging from workspace mapping and obstacle detection to object identification and scene understanding

The autonomous navigation capability is obviously most relevant in mobile robots, independent of the domain (air, sea, ground) and the sector (i.e. service, logistics, inspection, agriculture, construction and many other). In recent years, the challenges addressed were, to name some, robustness, maneuverability, accuracy and level of autonomy. However, the requirements, concept of operation and expected performance may vary drastically from one application to another. In terms of application scenarios, a strong focused has been placed in recent years in robots performing the desired tasks in unstructured and rapidly changing environments.

The next years will surely bring many challenges on the traditional robotics topics. But, in particular, the link to AI will continue to enable new possibilities on robot motion learning and planning. Likewise, a richer semantic understanding of the environment, as well as other robots and people presence and intentions, will provide deeper awareness that will likely enable new navigation approaches and potentially increase robustness in unexpected situations.

There is a strong link to many of the existing TG. This TG exists because we feel there is still a significant amount of work to be done on reliable, adaptable easy to fit-to-purpose navigation methods and it can therefore be beneficial to orchestrate advances and challenges in this topic common to all domains and applications.

Autonomous Navigation Topic Group Coordinators