Departmental Papers (ESE)


The limits in global navigation capability of potential function based robot control algorithms are explored. Elementary tools of algebraic and differential topology are used to advance arguments suggesting the existence of potential functions over a bounded planar region with arbitrary fixed obstacles possessed of a unique local minimum. A class of such potential functions is constructed for certain cases of a planar disk region with an arbitrary number of smaller disks removed.

Document Type

Conference Paper

Subject Area

GRASP, Kodlab

Date of this Version

March 1987


Copyright 1987 IEEE. Reprinted from Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Volume 4, 1987, pages 1-6.

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NOTE: At the time of publication, author Daniel Koditschek was affiliated with Yale University. Currently, he is a faculty member in the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania.



Date Posted: 06 June 2008

This document has been peer reviewed.