Analogical Path Planning

Saul Simhon and Gregory Dudek

We present a probabilistic method for path planning that considers trajectories constrained by both the environment and an ensemble of restrictions or preferences on preferred motions for a moving robot. Our system learns constraints and preference biases on a robot’s motion from examples, and then synthesizes behaviors that satisfy these constraints. This behavior can encompass motions that satisfy diverse requirements such as a sweep pattern for floor coverage, or, in particular in our experiments, satisfy restrictions on the robot’s physical capabilities such as restrictions on its turning radius. Given an approximate path that may not satisfy the required conditions, our system computes a refined path that satisfies the constraints and also avoids obstacles. Our approach is based on a Bayesian framework for combining a prior probability distribution on the trajectory with environmental constraints. The prior distribution is generated by decoding a Hidden Markov Model, which is itself is trained over a particular set of preferred motions. Environmental constraints are modeled using a potential field over the configuration space. This paper poses the requisite theoretical framework and demonstrates its effectiveness with several examples.

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