Published in Proceedings of the 6th International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space: i-SAIRAS 2001, June 18, 2001. Proceedings also available online at http://www.esa.int/TEC/Robotics/SEMMBJC4VUE_0.html.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Christopher Clark was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
This paper presents a technique for motion planning which is capable of planning trajectories for a large number of nonholonomic robots. The robots plan within a two dimensional environment that consists of stationary/moving obstacles, and fixed boundaries. Each robot uses randomized motion planner techniques based on Probabilistic Road Maps (PRM’s) to construct it’s own trajectory that is free of collisions with moving obstacles and other robots. The randomized motion planner allows easy integration of the robots nonholonomic constraint into the planning so that only kinematically consistent plans are constructed. It is important to include this constraint in the planning problem since the majority of planetary surface robots are nonholonomic. The speed of the road map construction allows planning in real-time, enabling the robot to maneuver safely in a dynamic environment. Communication between robots is infrequent since robots only communicate on a “need to know basis”. To verify the planner’s effectiveness, it was tested using both simulation and experiment.