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Choosing Path Replanning Strategies for Unmanned Aircraft Systems

AAAI Conferences

Unmanned aircraft systems use a variety of techniques to plan collision-free flight paths given a map of obstacles and no-fly zones. However, maps are not perfect and obstacles may change over time or be detected during flight, which may invalidate paths that the aircraft is already following. Thus, dynamic in-flight replanning is required. Numerous strategies can be used for replanning, where the time requirements and the plan quality associated with each strategy depend on the environment around the original flight path. In this paper, we investigate the use of machine learning techniques, in particular support vector machines, to choose the best possible replanning strategy depending on the amount of time available. The system has been implemented, integrated and tested in hardware-in-the-loop simulation with a Yamaha RMAX helicopter platform.


ITOMP: Incremental Trajectory Optimization for Real-Time Replanning in Dynamic Environments

AAAI Conferences

We present a novel optimization-based algorithm for motion planning in dynamic environments. Our approach uses a stochastic trajectory optimization framework to avoid collisions and satisfy smoothness and dynamics constraints. Our algorithm does not require a priori knowledge about global motion or trajectories of dynamic obstacles. Rather, we compute a conservative local bound on the position or trajectory of each obstacle over a short time and use the bound to compute a collision-free trajectory for the robot in an incremental manner. Moreover, we interleave planning and execution of the robot in an adaptive manner to balance between the planning horizon and responsiveness to obstacle. We highlight the performance of our planner in a simulated dynamic environment with the 7-DOF PR2 robot arm and dynamic obstacles.


Plan-Time Multi-Model Switching for Motion Planning

AAAI Conferences

Robot navigation through non-uniform environments requires reliable motion plan generation. The choice of planning model fidelity can significantly impact performance. Prior research has shown that reducing model fidelity saves planning time, but sacrifices execution reliability. While current adaptive hierarchical motion planning techniques are promising, we present a framework that leverages a richer set of robot motion models at plan-time. The framework chooses when to switch models and what model is most applicable within a single trajectory. For instance, more complex environment locales require higher fidelity models, while lower fidelity models are sufficient for simpler parts of the planning space, thus saving plan time. Our algorithm continuously aims to pick the model that best handles the current local environment. This effectively generates a single, mixed-fidelity plan. We present results for a simulated mobile robot with attached trailer in a hospital domain. We compare using a single motion planning model to switching with our framework of multiple models. Our results demonstrate that multi-fidelity model switching increases plan-time efficiency without sacrificing execution reliability.


Reactive Integrated Motion Planning and Execution

AAAI Conferences

Current motion planners, such as the ones available in ROS MoveIt, can solve difficult motion planning problems. However, these planners are not practical in unstructured, rapidly-changing environments. First, they assume that the environment is well-known, and static during planning and execution. Second, they do not support temporal constraints, which are often important for synchronization between a robot and other actors. Third, because many popular planners generate completely new trajectories for each planning problem, they do not allow for representing persistent control policy information associated with a trajectory across planning problems. We present Chekhov, a reactive, integrated motion planning and execution system that addresses these problems. Chekhov uses a Tube-based Roadmap in which the edges of the roadmap graph are families of trajectories called flow tubes, rather than the single trajectories commonly used in roadmap systems. Flow tubes contain control policy information about how to move through the tube, and also represent the dynamic limits of the system, which imply temporal constraints. This, combined with an incremental APSP algorithm for quickly finding paths in the roadmap graph, allows Chekhov to operate in rapidly changing environments. Testing in simulation, and with a robot testbed has shown improvement in planning speed and motion predictability over current motion planners.


The Path Planning Component of an Architecture for Autonomous Vehicles

AAAI Conferences

Path planning for an autonomous vehicle can occur at two different times. First, path planning might occur at mission specification time when the vehicle's initial path is determined and used to specify other mission factors. This task makes use of some model of the environment in planning a path that will avoid obstacles and hazardous areas. A second type of path planning might occur while the vehicle is underway to avoid unexpected or previously unknown obstacles and hazardous areas. This paper concentrates on path planning and path re-planning in both two-dimensional and three-dimeusional environments as used in the STESCA general control architecture for autonomous vehicles. Introduction Path planning is a fundamental task of autonomous vehicles. A wide variety of algorithms exist that address different factors of path planning (for instance (Kavanangh & Werner 1995)).