Simulation and Visualization of Indoor-Acoustics for Robot Control

N. Schmitz, J. Wettach, E. Deines, P. Dannenmann, M. Bertram, K. Berns, and H. Hagen (Germany)


Virtual Environments, Acoustics, Simulation, Visualiza tion, Robotics, Control Algorithms


An autonomous robot orientates itself by using informa tion provided by its sensor systems. Besides distance sen sors, optical and acoustic sensors play a vital role in fulfill ing this task. In this paper we present a novel approach to simulate and visualize the acoustic properties of an indoor scene. This simulation data is used for testing and refining the control algorithms of an autonomous robot interacting with humans in an office environment. In order to enable a robot to interact with its environment and to perform its intended tasks in a context-sensitive manner, it must be ca pable of interpreting the information provided by its sensor systems. For testing these interpretation capabilities, cer tain environmental stimuli need to be provided to the robot in a controlled and repeatable manner. However, such stim uli are not available normally. The presented work provides a virtual testing environment that permits the realistic simu lation and visualization of the acoustic properties of indoor environments. Thus, it is possible to simulate and visualize the spread of sound waves within a room and to simulate the acoustic signals a robot receives at certain positions. Using such well-defined test conditions and a visual repre sentation of the spread of sound in the test environment, it is now possible to find positions of special acoustic properties and to use them for testing the robot’s reactions to acoustic events. On this basis, the robot’s control algorithms can be refined accordingly.

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