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An efficient system for combined route traversal and collision avoidance

Bradley Hamner, Sanjiv Singh, Stephan Roth and Takeshi Takahashi
Carnegie Mellon University, Autonomous Robots, Vol. 24, No. 4, pp. 365-385, May, 2008

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Here we consider the problem of a robot that must follow a previously designated path outdoors. While the nominal path, a series of closely spaced via points, is provided with an assurance that it will lead to the destination, we can? be guaranteed that it will be obstacle free. We present an efficient system capable of both following the path as well as being perceptive and agile enough to avoid obstacles in its way. We present a system that detects obstacles using laser ranging, as well as a layered system that continuously tracks the path, avoiding obstacles and replanning the route when necessary. The distinction of this system is that compared to the state of the art, it is minimal in sensing and computation while achieving high speeds. In this paper, we present an algorithm that is based on models of obstacle avoidance by humans and show variations of the model to deal with practical considerations. We show how the parameters of this model are automatically learned from observation of human operation and discuss limitations of the model. We then show how these models can be extended by adding online route planning and a formulation that allows for operation at varying speeds. We present experimental results from an autonomous vehicle that has operated several hundred kilometers to validate the methodology.

BibTeX Reference
title = {An efficient system for combined route traversal and collision avoidance},
author = {Bradley Hamner and Sanjiv Singh and Stephan Roth and Takeshi Takahashi},
booktitle = {Autonomous Robots},
keyword = {mobile robots, navigation, obstacle detection, obstacle avoidance},
publisher = {Springer Netherlands},
school = {Robotics Institute , Carnegie Mellon University},
month = {May},
year = {2008},
volume = {24},
number = {4},
pages = {365-385},
address = {Pittsburgh, PA},