Motion planning with narrow C-space passages
A common point of weakness in many path/motion planners is dealing with configuration spaces (C-spaces) that involve narrow gaps or passages. This is caused by the indirect representation of the C-space inherent in those planners. Unfortunately many real environments and tasks give rise to such situations. While a small number of planners do exist which reliably work in these environments, they in turn have problems when the robot has many controllable degrees of freedom. High degree of freedom motion in confined spaces is a typical problem encountered by PARC's PolyBot platform. The algorithm put forward in this paper is designed to work directly with the C-space obstacles' geometry, and so is not hampered by narrow passages. The planner is a homotopic one which solves general problems in -dimensional C-space. The algorithm's theoretical characteristics are shown to compare very favourably with other contending planners in these specialised domains. Results of some preliminary testing are given.
Eldershaw, C. ; Yim, M. H. ; Zhang, Y. ; Roufas, K. D. ; Duff, D. G. Motion planning with narrow C-space passages. Proceedings of the 2003 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2003); 2003 October 27-31. Piscataway NJ: IEEE; 2003; 1608-1613.