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Collision avoidance is key for mobile robots and agents to operate safely in the real world. In this work, we present an efficient and effective collision avoidance system that combines real-world reinforcement learning (RL), search-based online trajectory planning, and automatic emergency intervention, e.g. automatic emergency braking (AEB). The goal of the RL is to learn effective search heuristics that speed up the search for collision-free trajectory and reduce the frequency of triggering automatic emergency interventions. This novel setup enables RL to learn safely and directly on mobile robots in a real-world indoor environment, minimizing actual crashes even during training. Our real-world experiments show that, when compared with several baselines, our approach enjoys a higher average speed, lower crash rate, higher goals reached rate, smaller computation overhead, and smoother overall control.

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