As an industry expert in mapping and wayfinding, MapsPeople brings in geo-specialized know-how and development resources to the Polaris project. Built with Google Maps, our product MapsIndoors can take users from anywhere outside facilities to any point of interest inside a building giving the Polaris robot a flexible cloud-based platform for its local infrastructural awareness and relevant location-based content supply. With MapsIndoors CMS (Content Management System), staff members with no programming skills can easily update, edit, and manage their indoor solution which also makes it a good foundation for managing a fleet of service-robots.
Like many other autonomous moving robots in the current market, Polaris will be able to learn about its surrounding environment. It will be equipped with sensors that make it able to navigate between people, interiors, walls, doors, etc. Something that MapsIndoors only can do to a limited extend because it is dependant of updated informations provided by the MapsIndoors CMS users or developers pushing information to the platform. In this way, a Polaris-backed MapsIndoors solution has the potential to become more intelligent and updated leading to a higher quality of the wayfinding service.
On the other hand most autonomous moving robots has the limitation of only seeing what is in its immediate surrounding environment. So asking a robot to guide you from the current location to a location several meters away would result in a mission of trial-and-error, where the robot most likely would use most of its mission time learning about its surroundings and chances are that you will never get to the end goal. MapsIndoors can deliver the global route that is needed in this case. The robot can do the local planning avoiding immediate obstacles while still trying to follow the global route. A robot with this level of spatial awareness can operate in an indoor environment with a lot more confidence and determinism than a robot with limited spatial awareness.
At MapsPeople we believe that facilitating robot technology is the next natural step for integrated MapsIndoors solutions. The wayfinding strategies and spatial awareness differs for each different human-being. Some people just need to see a map, some navigate using signage and landmarks, and some are best of with verbal instructions. So we know we must use different yet integrated approaches to our wayfinding services and technologies to help our users and the Polaris collaboration helps MapsPeople forward in this effort.