Planning Among Movable Obstacles with Artificial Constraints

Michael Stilman and James Kuffner
Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics, July, 2006.

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This paper presents artificial constraints as a method for guiding heuristic search in the computationally challenging domain of motion planning among movable obstacles. The robot is permitted to manipulate unspecified obstacles in order to create space for a path. A plan is an ordered sequence of paths for robot motion and object manipulation. We show that under monotone assumptions, anticipating future manipulation paths results in constraints on both the choice of objects and their placements at earlier stages in the plan. We present an algorithm that uses this observation to incrementally reduce the search space and quickly find solutions to previously unsolved classes of movable obstacle problems. Our planner is developed for arbitrary robot geometry and kinematics. It is presented with an implementation for the domain of navigation among movable obstacles.

Motion Planning, Movable Obstacles, NAMO, Navigation Among Movable Obstacles, Manipulation

Associated Center(s) / Consortia: Center for the Foundations of Robotics
Associated Lab(s) / Group(s): Planning and Autonomy Lab
Associated Project(s): Navigation Among Movable Obstacles

Text Reference
Michael Stilman and James Kuffner, "Planning Among Movable Obstacles with Artificial Constraints," Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics, July, 2006.

BibTeX Reference
   author = "Michael Stilman and James Kuffner",
   title = "Planning Among Movable Obstacles with Artificial Constraints",
   booktitle = "Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics",
   month = "July",
   year = "2006",