AAAI Publications, Twenty-Fifth International FLAIRS Conference

Font Size: 
Graphical Display of Search Trees for Transparent Robot Programming
Joaquin Arturo Pockels, Ashwin Iyengar, David Touretzky

Last modified: 2012-05-16


Search algorithms such as Rapidly-exploring Random Trees (RRTs) are common in robot programming. Including graphical representations of the output of these algorithms in a robotics framework can make the algorithms more accessible to students, and can also help programmers analyze and account for unexpected results. For this project, we used the Tekkotsu open source robot programming framework, available at We extended Tekkotsu’s graphical user interface for displaying vision data and maps to also display the output of an RRT search. We created several demos using two types of searches: one from a navigation path planner, and one from an arm path planner. In some cases the search had no solution, and the graphical output helped to illustrate why. This confirms the utility of the RRT visualization for explaining unexpected search results. We expect that this tool will also contribute to improved student understanding of the search algorithm.

Full Text: PDF