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Sensors 2017, 17(8), 1876; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17081876

Path Planning for Non-Circular, Non-Holonomic Robots in Highly Cluttered Environments

1
Imatia Innovation, 36310 Vigo, Spain
2
Department of Systems Engineering and Automation, School of Industrial Engineering, University of Vigo, 36310 Vigo, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 June 2017 / Revised: 4 August 2017 / Accepted: 11 August 2017 / Published: 15 August 2017
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Abstract

This paper presents an algorithm for finding a solution to the problem of planning a feasible path for a slender autonomous mobile robot in a large and cluttered environment. The presented approach is based on performing a graph search on a kinodynamic-feasible lattice state space of high resolution; however, the technique is applicable to many search algorithms. With the purpose of allowing the algorithm to consider paths that take the robot through narrow passes and close to obstacles, high resolutions are used for the lattice space and the control set. This introduces new challenges because one of the most computationally expensive parts of path search based planning algorithms is calculating the cost of each one of the actions or steps that could potentially be part of the trajectory. The reason for this is that the evaluation of each one of these actions involves convolving the robot’s footprint with a portion of a local map to evaluate the possibility of a collision, an operation that grows exponentially as the resolution is increased. The novel approach presented here reduces the need for these convolutions by using a set of offline precomputed maps that are updated, by means of a partial convolution, as new information arrives from sensors or other sources. Not only does this improve run-time performance, but it also provides support for dynamic search in changing environments. A set of alternative fast convolution methods are also proposed, depending on whether the environment is cluttered with obstacles or not. Finally, we provide both theoretical and experimental results from different experiments and applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: mobile robots; car-like robots; non-holonomic; path planning; motion planning; state lattice mobile robots; car-like robots; non-holonomic; path planning; motion planning; state lattice
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Samaniego, R.; Lopez, J.; Vazquez, F. Path Planning for Non-Circular, Non-Holonomic Robots in Highly Cluttered Environments. Sensors 2017, 17, 1876.

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