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Mobile robot path planning and execution based on a diffusion equation strategy

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This paper discusses a method for map and sensor-based planning and execution, i.e. navigation, of smooth collision-free robot motion paths. Application of an unsteady diffusion equation strategy to path planning in a time-varying world distinguishes this approach from prior work in the field. Collision-free robot paths between a start and a mission-dependent goal point are generated very rapidly by on-line simulation of a diffusion process and by repetitively evaluating the gradient of the computed concentration distribution functions. Related numerical algorithms are appropriate for a massively parallel implementation. The paper also describes applications of the approach to various scenarios of robot vehicle navigation. The results of a field experiment performed with a mobile robot are presented, and the usefulness of the approach for robot arm path planning in configuration space is demonstrated.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department for Automatic Control Engineering (LSR), Technische Universität München D-80290 München, Germany

Publication date: January 1, 1992


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