Collaborating Authors

motion planner

Socially intelligent task and motion planning for human-robot interaction Artificial Intelligence

As social beings, much human behavior is predicated on social context - the ambient social state that includes cultural norms, social signals, individual preferences, etc. In this paper, we propose a socially-aware task and motion planning algorithm that considers social context to generate appropriate and effective plans in human social environments (HSEs). The key strength of our proposed approach is that it explicitly models how potential actions not only affect objective cost, but also transform the social context in which it plans and acts. We investigate strategies to limit the complexity of our algorithm, so that our planner will remain tractable for mobile platforms in complex HSEs like hospitals and factories. The planner will also consider the relative importance and urgency of its tasks, which it uses to determine when it is and is not appropriate to violate social expectations to achieve its objective. This social awareness will allow robots to understand a fundamental rule of society: just because something makes your job easier, does not make it the right thing to do! To our knowledge, the proposed work is the first task and motion planning approach that supports socially intelligent robot policy for HSEs. Through this ongoing work, robots will be able to understand, respect, and leverage social context accomplish tasks both acceptably and effectively in HSEs.

Prediction of Bottleneck Points for Manipulation Planning in Cluttered Environment using a 3D Convolutional Neural Network Artificial Intelligence

Latest research in industrial robotics is aimed at making human robot collaboration possible seamlessly. For this purpose, industrial robots are expected to work on the fly in unstructured and cluttered environments and hence the subject of perception driven motion planning plays a vital role. Sampling bas ed motion planners are proven to be the most effective for such high dimensional planning problems with real time constraints . Unluckily r andom stochastic samplers suffer from the phenomenon of'narrow passages' or bottleneck regions which need targeted sa mpling to improve their convergence rate . Also identifying these bottleneck regions in a diverse set of planning problems is a challenge. In this paper an attempt has been made to address these two problems by designing an intelligent'bottleneck guided' h euristic for a Rapidly Exploring Random Tree Star (RRT*) planner which is based on relevant context extracted from the planning scenario using a 3D Convolutional Neural Network and it is also proven that the proposed technique generalizes to unseen problem instances. This paper benchmarks the technique (bottleneck guided RRT*) against a 10% Goal biased RRT* planner, show s significant improvement in planning time and memory requirement and uses ABB 1410 industrial manipulator as a platform for implantation a nd validation of the results.

Task-Motion Planning for Navigation in Belief Space Artificial Intelligence

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.

Autonomous Aerial Cinematography In Unstructured Environments With Learned Artistic Decision-Making Artificial Intelligence

Aerial cinematography is revolutionizing industries that require live and dynamic camera viewpoints such as entertainment, sports, and security. However, safely piloting a drone while filming a moving target in the presence of obstacles is immensely taxing, often requiring multiple expert human operators. Hence, there is demand for an autonomous cinematographer that can reason about both geometry and scene context in real-time. Existing approaches do not address all aspects of this problem; they either require high-precision motion-capture systems or GPS tags to localize targets, rely on prior maps of the environment, plan for short time horizons, or only follow artistic guidelines specified before flight. In this work, we address the problem in its entirety and propose a complete system for real-time aerial cinematography that for the first time combines: (1) vision-based target estimation; (2) 3D signed-distance mapping for occlusion estimation; (3) efficient trajectory optimization for long time-horizon camera motion; and (4) learning-based artistic shot selection. We extensively evaluate our system both in simulation and in field experiments by filming dynamic targets moving through unstructured environments. Our results indicate that our system can operate reliably in the real world without restrictive assumptions. We also provide in-depth analysis and discussions for each module, with the hope that our design tradeoffs can generalize to other related applications. Videos of the complete system can be found at:

Motion Planning Networks: Bridging the Gap Between Learning-based and Classical Motion Planners Artificial Intelligence

This paper describes Motion Planning Networks (MPNet), a computationally efficient, learning-based neural planner for solving motion planning problems. MPNet uses neural networks to learn general near-optimal heuristics for path planning in seen and unseen environments. It receives environment information as point-clouds, as well as a robot's initial and desired goal configurations and recursively calls itself to bidirectionally generate connectable paths. In addition to finding directly connectable and near-optimal paths in a single pass, we show that worst-case theoretical guarantees can be proven if we merge this neural network strategy with classical sample-based planners in a hybrid approach while still retaining significant computational and optimality improvements. To learn the MPNet models, we present an active continual learning approach that enables MPNet to learn from streaming data and actively ask for expert demonstrations when needed, drastically reducing data for training. We validate MPNet against gold-standard and state-of-the-art planning methods in a variety of problems from 2D to 7D robot configuration spaces in challenging and cluttered environments, with results showing significant and consistently stronger performance metrics, and motivating neural planning in general as a modern strategy for solving motion planning problems efficiently.

Harnessing Reinforcement Learning for Neural Motion Planning Machine Learning

Motion planning is an essential component in most of today's robotic applications. In this work, we consider the learning setting, where a set of solved motion planning problems is used to improve the efficiency of motion planning on different, yet similar problems. This setting is important in applications with rapidly changing environments such as in e-commerce, among others. We investigate a general deep learning based approach, where a neural network is trained to map an image of the domain, the current robot state, and a goal robot state to the next robot state in the plan. We focus on the learning algorithm, and compare supervised learning methods with reinforcement learning (RL) algorithms. We first establish that supervised learning approaches are inferior in their accuracy due to insufficient data on the boundary of the obstacles, an issue that RL methods mitigate by actively exploring the domain. We then propose a modification of the popular DDPG RL algorithm that is tailored to motion planning domains, by exploiting the known model in the problem and the set of solved plans in the data. We show that our algorithm, dubbed DDPG-MP, significantly improves the accuracy of the learned motion planning policy. Finally, we show that given enough training data, our method can plan significantly faster on novel domains than off-the-shelf sampling based motion planners. Results of our experiments are shown in

Identifying Critical Regions for Motion Planning using Auto-Generated Saliency Labels with Convolutional Neural Networks Artificial Intelligence

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.

Learning to Predict Ego-Vehicle Poses for Sampling-Based Nonholonomic Motion Planning Artificial Intelligence

Abstract-- Sampling-based motion planning is an effective tool to compute safe trajectories for automated vehicles in complex environments. However, a fast convergence to the optimal solution can only be ensured with the use of problemspecific samplingdistributions. Due to the large variety of driving situations within the context of automated driving, it is very challenging to manually design such distributions. This paper introduces therefore a data-driven approach utilizing a deep convolutional neural network (CNN): Given the current driving situation, future ego-vehicle poses can be directly generated from the output of the CNN allowing to guide the motion planner efficiently towards the optimal solution. A benchmark highlights that the CNN predicts future vehicle poses with a higher accuracy compared to uniform sampling and a state-of-the-art A*-based approach. Combining this CNNguided samplingwith the motion planner Bidirectional RRT* reduces the computation time by up to an order of magnitude and yields a faster convergence to a lower cost as well as a success rate of 100 % in the tested scenarios. I. INTRODUCTION Motion planning is one of the major pillars in the software architecture of automated vehicles. Its task is to compute a safe trajectory from start goal taking into account the vehicle's constraints, the non-convex surrounding as well as the comfort requirements of passengers. In structured environments, such as highway driving, it is sufficient to solve the motion planning problem locally close to the lane centerline.

Integrating Task-Motion Planning with Reinforcement Learning for Robust Decision Making in Mobile Robots Artificial Intelligence

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.

Safe Navigation with Human Instructions in Complex Scenes Artificial Intelligence

In this paper, we present a robotic navigation algorithm with natural language interfaces, which enables a robot to safely walk through a changing environment with moving persons by following human instructions such as "go to the restaurant and keep away from people". We first classify human instructions into three types: the goal, the constraints, and uninformative phrases. Next, we provide grounding for the extracted goal and constraint items in a dynamic manner along with the navigation process, to deal with the target objects that are too far away for sensor observation and the appearance of moving obstacles like humans. In particular, for a goal phrase (e.g., "go to the restaurant"), we ground it to a location in a predefined semantic map and treat it as a goal for a global motion planner, which plans a collision-free path in the workspace for the robot to follow. For a constraint phrase (e.g., "keep away from people"), we dynamically add the corresponding constraint into a local planner by adjusting the values of a local costmap according to the results returned by the object detection module. The updated costmap is then used to compute a local collision avoidance control for the safe navigation of the robot. By combining natural language processing, motion planning, and computer vision, our developed system is demonstrated to be able to successfully follow natural language navigation instructions to achieve navigation tasks in both simulated and real-world scenarios. Videos are available at