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For vehicles navigating initially unknown cluttered environments, current state-of-the-art planning algorithms are able to plan and re-plan dynamically-feasible paths efficiently and robustly. It is still a challenge, however, to deal well with the surroundings that are both cluttered and highly dynamic. Planning under these conditions is more difficult for two reasons. First, tracking and predicting the trajectories of moving objects (i.e., cars, humans) is very noisy. Second, the planning process is computationally more expensive because of the increased dimensionality of the state-space, with time as an additional variable. Moreover, re-planning needs to be invoked more often since the trajectories of moving obstacles need to be constantly re-estimated. In this paper, we develop a path planning algorithm that addresses these challenges. First, we choose a representation of dynamic obstacles that efficiently models their predicted trajectories and the uncertainty associated with the predictions. Second, to provide real-time guarantees on the performance of planning with dynamic obstacles, we propose to utilize a novel data structure for planning - a time-bounded lattice - that merges together short-term planning in time with longterm planning without time. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach in both simulations with up to 30 dynamic obstacles and on real robots.
collision avoidance, navigation, remotely operated vehicles, road vehicles, state-space methods, cluttered environments, data structure, dynamic environments, moving objects, moving obstacles, path planning algorithm, state-of-the-art planning algorithms, state-space, time-bounded lattice, tracking, trajectory prediction, vehicle navigation
Date Posted: 01 October 2009