Task-Motion Planning for Navigation in Belief Space Antony Thomas, Fulvio Mastrogiovanni, and Marco Baglietto Abstract We present an integrated Task-Motion Planning (TMP) framework for navigation in large-scale environment. Autonomous robots operating in real world complex scenarios require planning in the discrete (task) space and the continuous (motion) space. In knowledge intensive domains, on the one hand, a robot has to reason at the highest-level, for example the regions to navigate to; on the other hand, the feasibility of the respective navigation tasks have to be checked at the execution level. This presents a need for motion-planning-aware task planners. We discuss a probabilistically complete approach that leverages this task-motion interaction for navigating in indoor domains, returning a plan that is optimal at the task-level. Furthermore, our framework is intended for motion planning under motion and sensing uncertainty, which is formally known as belief space planning. The underlying methodology is validated with a simulated office environment in Gazebo. In addition, we discuss the limitations and provide suggestions for improvements and future work. 1 Introduction Autonomous robots operating in complex real world scenarios require different levels of planning to execute their tasks. High-level (task) planning helps break down a given set of tasks into a sequence of sub-tasks. Actual execution of each of these sub-tasks would require low-level control actions to generate appropriate robot motions. In fact, the dependency between logical and geometrical aspects is pervasive in both task planning and execution.
Task-motion planning (TMP) addresses the problem of efficiently generating executable and low-cost task plans in a discrete space such that the (initially unknown) action costs are determined by motion plans in a corresponding continuous space. However, a task-motion plan can be sensitive to unexpected domain uncertainty and changes, leading to suboptimal behaviors or execution failures. In this paper, we propose a novel framework, TMP-RL, which is an integration of TMP and reinforcement learning (RL) from the execution experience, to solve the problem of robust task-motion planning in dynamic and uncertain domains. TMP-RL features two nested planning-learning loops. In the inner TMP loop, the robot generates a low-cost, feasible task-motion plan by iteratively planning in the discrete space and updating relevant action costs evaluated by the motion planner in continuous space. In the outer loop, the plan is executed, and the robot learns from the execution experience via model-free RL, to further improve its task-motion plans. RL in the outer loop is more accurate to the current domain but also more expensive, and using less costly task and motion planning leads to a jump-start for learning in the real world. Our approach is evaluated on a mobile service robot conducting navigation tasks in an office area. Results show that TMP-RL approach significantly improves adaptability and robustness (in comparison to TMP methods) and leads to rapid convergence (in comparison to task planning (TP)-RL methods). We also show that TMP-RL can reuse learned values to smoothly adapt to new scenarios during long-term deployments.
For robots to solve real world tasks, they often require the ability to reason about both symbolic and geometric knowledge. We present a framework, called KABouM, for integrating knowledge-level task planning and motion planning in a bounding geometry. By representing symbolic information at the knowledge level, we can model incomplete information, sensing actions and information gain; by representing all geometric entities--objects, robots and swept volumes of motions--by sets of convex polyhedra, we can efficiently plan manipulation actions and raise reasoning about geometric predicates, such as collisions, to the symbolic level. At the geometric level, we take advantage of our bounded convex decomposition and swept volume computation with quadratic convergence, and fast collision detection of convex bodies. We evaluate our approach on a wide set of problems using real robots, including tasks with multiple manipulators, sensing and branched plans, and mobile manipulation.
-- T o solve multi-step manipulation tasks in the real world, an autonomous robot must take actions to observe its environment and react to unexpected observations. This may require opening a drawer to observe its contents or moving an object out of the way to examine the space behind it. If the robot fails to detect an important object, it must update its belief about the world and compute a new plan of action. Additionally, a robot that acts noisily will never exactly arrive at a desired state. Still, it is important that the robot adjusts accordingly in order to keep making progress towards achieving the goal. In this work, we present an online planning and execution system for robots faced with these kinds of challenges. Our approach is able to efficiently solve partially observable problems both in simulation and in a real-world kitchen. Robots acting autonomously in human environments are faced with a variety of challenges. First, they must make both discrete decisions about what object to manipulate as well as continuous decisions about which motions to execute to achieve a desired interaction. Planning in these large hybrid spaces is the subject of integrated T ask and Motion Planning (T AMP) , , , , , .
Noisy observations coupled with nonlinear dynamics pose one of the biggest challenges in robot motion planning. By decomposing the nonlinear dynamics into a discrete set of local dynamics models, hybrid dynamics provide a natural way to model nonlinear dynamics, especially in systems with sudden "jumps" in the dynamics, due to factors such as contacts. We propose a hierarchical POMDP planner that develops locally optimal motion plans for hybrid dynamics models. The hierarchical planner first develops a high-level motion plan to sequence the local dynamics models to be visited. The high-level plan is then converted into a detailed cost-optimized continuous state plan. This hierarchical planning approach results in a decomposition of the POMDP planning problem into smaller sub-parts that can be solved with significantly lower computational costs. The ability to sequence the visitation of local dynamics models also provides a powerful way to leverage the hybrid dynamics to reduce state uncertainty. We evaluate the proposed planner for two navigation and localization tasks in simulated domains, as well as an assembly task with a real robotic manipulator.