Exact robot navigation by means of potential functions: Some topological considerations
General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception Laboratory
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.