Planning High-Visibility Stable Paths for Reconfigurable Robots on Uneven Terrain

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Conference Proceeding
IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2012, pp. 2844 - 2849
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This paper proposes a motion planning strategy for reconfigurable mobile robots in uneven terrain. Paths that guarantee stability while at the same time maximise the height of the sensor payload, thereby enhancing the capacity of the robot to explore the environment are obtained using a search algorithm based on A*. This is particularly applicable to operations such as search and rescue where observing the environment for locating victims is the major objective, although the proposed technique can be generalised to incorporate other potentially conflicting objectives such as minimising energy. The proposed planning strategy looks at exploiting the (possibly incomplete) environment information available to the robot and/or operator as it explores novel terrain. The effectiveness of the approach is evaluated using data obtained from a multitracked robot fitted with a manipulator arm and a range camera in a mock-up search and rescue arena.
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