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.
Antony Thomas and Sunny Amatya † and Fulvio Mastrogiovanni and Marco Baglietto Abstract -- We present an integrated T ask-Motion Planning framework for robot navigation in belief space. Autonomous robots operating in real world complex scenarios require planning in the discrete (task) space and the continuous (motion) space. T o this end, we propose a framework for integrating belief space reasoning within a hybrid task planner . The expressive power of PDDL combined with heuristic-driven semantic attachments performs the propagated and posterior belief estimates while planning. The underlying methodology for the development of the combined hybrid planner is discussed, providing suggestions for improvements and future work. I NTRODUCTION 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. Hence, planning should be performed in the task-motion or the discrete-continuous space. In recent years, combining high-level task planning with low-level motion planning has been a subject of great interest among the Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) community.
Symbolic planning methods have proved to be challenging in robotics due to partial observability and noise as well as unavoidable exceptions to rules that symbol semantics depend on. Often the symbols that a robot considers to support for planning are brittle, making them unsuited for even relatively short term use. Maturing probabilistic methods in robotics, however, are providing a sound basis for symbol grounding that supports using probabilistic distributions over symbolic entities as the basis for planning. In this paper, we describe a belief-space planner that stabilizes the semantics of feedback from the environment by actively interacting with a scene. When distributions over higher-level abstractions stabilize, powerful symbolic planning techniques can provide reliable guidance for problem solving. We present such an approach in a hybrid planning scheme that actively controls uncertainty and yields robust state estimation with bounds on uncertainty that can make effective use of powerful symbolic planning techniques. We illustrate the idea in a hybrid planner for autonomous construction tasks with a real robot system.
Many task execution techniques tend to repeatedly invoke motion planning algorithms in order to perform complex tasks. In order to accelerate the perform of such methods, we present a real-time global motion planner that utilizes the computational capabilities of current many-core GPUs (graphics processing units). Our approach is based on randomized sample-based planners and we describe highly parallel algorithms to generate samples, perform collision queries, nearest-neighbor computations, local planning and graph search to compute collision-free paths for rigid robots. Our approach can efficiently solve the single-query and multiquery versions of the planning problem and can obtain one to two orders of speedup over prior CPU-based global planning algorithms. The resulting GPU-based planning algorithm can also be used for real-time feedback for task execution in challenging scenarios.
In this paper, we present a new approach to learning for motion planning (MP) where critical regions of an environment with low probability measure are learned from a given set of motion plans and used to improve performance on new problem instances. We show that a convolutional neural network (CNN) can be used to identify critical regions for motion plans. We also introduce a new sampling-based motion planner, Learn and Link (LLP). LLP leverages critical region locations identified by our CNN to overcome the limitations of uniform sampling, while still maintaining guarantees of correctness inherent to sampling-based algorithms. We evaluate our planner using an extensive suite of experiments on challenging navigation planning problems and compare its performance against planners from the Open Motion Planning Library (OMPL). We show that our approach requires the creation of far fewer states than the existing sampling-based planners.