ACE reached Marienplatz

09/01/2008 : 15:41

ACE - the Autonomous City Explorer has been designed to navigate through urban environments without GPS data. Today the overall project goal of traveling from Technische Universität München to Marienplatz has been successfully achieved.

"Hello, my name is ACE. Could you please help me to find the way to Marienplatz?"

But ACE is not one of the thousands of tourists flocking the streets of Munich. ACE is a robot – and passers-by on Munich's sidewalks thought they were part of a science fiction plot.

ACE's astounding highlight - apart from talking to pedestrians with a robot-like voice - is that it found its way from its home - the CoTeSys Central Laboratory at TU München - to Marienplatz, the central place in Munich - all by itself! Neither GPS nor any city-map was put into its computer brain. ACE finds its way solely from information given by passers-by – and deriving conclusions from inconsistent or incomplete information, like in real life.

Due to the huge interest in the robot and so many people crowding up and trying to "play" with it, ACE was rather slow: it managed the 1.5 kilometer-long route in only five hours. ACE needed more than 38 times to stop and ask, before reaching Marienplatz.

ACE is the product of combining leading-edge research results in the fields of autonomous navigation, path planning, environment modeling, and human-robot interaction. Watch the videos and follow ACE's crowd-attracting journey to Marienplatz.