Kumar, Sandip (2011-12). Generalized Sampling-Based Feedback Motion Planners. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • The motion planning problem can be formulated as a Markov decision process (MDP), if the uncertainties in the robot motion and environments can be modeled probabilistically. The complexity of solving these MDPs grow exponentially as the dimension of the problem increases and hence, it is nearly impossible to solve the problem even without constraints. Using hierarchical methods, these MDPs can be transformed into a semi-Markov decision process (SMDP) which only needs to be solved at certain landmark states. In the deterministic robotics motion planning community, sampling based algorithms like probabilistic roadmaps (PRM) and rapidly exploring random trees (RRTs) have been successful in solving very high dimensional deterministic problem. However they are not robust to system with uncertainties in the system dynamics and hence, one of the primary objective of this work is to generalize PRM/RRT to solve motion planning with uncertainty. We first present generalizations of randomized sampling based algorithms PRM and RRT, to incorporate the process uncertainty, and obstacle location uncertainty, termed as "generalized PRM" (GPRM) and "generalized RRT" (GRRT). The controllers used at the lower level of these planners are feedback controllers which ensure convergence of trajectories while mitigating the effects of process uncertainty. The results indicate that the algorithms solve the motion planning problem for a single agent in continuous state/control spaces in the presence of process uncertainty, and constraints such as obstacles and other state/input constraints. Secondly, a novel adaptive sampling technique, termed as "adaptive GPRM" (AGPRM), is proposed for these generalized planners to increase the efficiency and overall success probability of these planners. It was implemented on high-dimensional robot n-link manipulators, with up to 8 links, i.e. in a 16-dimensional state-space. The results demonstrate the ability of the proposed algorithm to handle the motion planning problem for highly non-linear systems in very high-dimensional state space. Finally, a solution methodology, termed the "multi-agent AGPRM" (MAGPRM), is proposed to solve the multi-agent motion planning problem under uncertainty. The technique uses a existing solution technique to the multiple traveling salesman problem (MTSP) in conjunction with GPRM. For real-time implementation, an ?inter-agent collision detection and avoidance? module was designed which ensures that no two agents collide at any time-step. Algorithm was tested on teams of homogeneous and heterogeneous agents in cluttered obstacle space and the algorithm demonstrate the ability to handle such problems in continuous state/control spaces in presence of process uncertainty.

publication date

  • December 2011