Date of Award

Winter 12-15-2014

Author's Department

Computer Science & Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



In order to improve the interaction between humans and robots, robots need to be able to move about in a way that is appropriate to the complex environments around them. One way to investigate how the robots should move is through the lens of theatre, which provides us with ways to analyze the robot's movements and the motivations for moving in particular ways. In particular, this has proven useful for improving robot navigation. By altering the costmaps used for path planning, robots can navigate around their environment in ways that incorporate additional contexts. Experimental results with user studies have shown altered costmaps to have a significant effect on the interaction, although the costmaps must be carefully tuned to get the desired effect. The new layered costmap algorithm builds on the established open-source navigation platform, creating a robust system that can be extended to handle a wide range of contextual situations.


English (en)


Bilge Mutlu

Committee Members

William D Smart, Robert Pless, Chris Gill, Caitlin Kelleher


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