Streamlines for motion planning in underwater currents

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, 2019, 2019-May pp. 4619 - 4625
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
© 2019 IEEE. Motion planning for underwater vehicles must consider the effect of ocean currents. We present an efficient method to compute reachability and cost between sample points in sampling-based motion planning that supports long-range planning over hundreds of kilometres in complicated flows. The idea is to search a reduced space of control inputs that consists of stream functions whose level sets, or streamlines, optimally connect two given points. Such stream functions are generated by superimposing a control input onto the underlying current flow. A streamline represents the resulting path that a vehicle would follow as it is carried along by the current given that control input. We provide rigorous analysis that shows how our method avoids exhaustive search of the control space, and demonstrate simulated examples in complicated flows including a traversal along the east coast of Australia, using actual current predictions, between Sydney and Brisbane.
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