Social robots, designed to interact and assist people in social daily life scenarios, require adequate path planning algorithms to navigate autonomously through these environments. These algorithms have not only to find feasible paths but also to consider other requirements, such as optimizing energy consumption or making the robot behave in a socially accepted way. Path planning can be tuned according to a set of factors, being the most common path length, safety, and smoothness. This last factor may have a strong relation with energy consumption and social acceptability of produced motion, but this possible relation has never been deeply studied. The current paper focuses on performing a double analysis through two experiments. One of them analyzes energy consumption in a real robot for trajectories that use different smoothness factors. The other analyzes social acceptance for different smoothness factors by presenting different simulated situations to different people and collecting their impressions. The results of these experiments show that, in general terms, smoother paths decrease energy consumption and increase acceptability, as far as other key factors, such as distance to people, are fulfilled.
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