Exact robot navigation using cost functions: the case of distinct spherical boundaries in En

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General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception Laboratory
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The utility of artificial potential functions is explored as a means of translating automatically a robot task description into a feedback control law to drive the robot actuators. A class of functions is sought which will guide a point robot amid any finite number of spherically bounded obstacles in Euclidean n-space toward an arbitrary destination point. By introducing a set of additional constraints, the subclass of navigation functions is defined. This class is dynamically sound in the sense that the actual mechanical system will inherit the essential aspects of the qualitative behavior of the gradient lines of the cost function. An existence proof is given by constructing a one parameter family of such functions; the parameter is used to guarantee the absence of local minima.

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Copyright 1988 IEEE. Reprinted from Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Volume 3, 1988, pages 1791-1796. This material is posted here with permission of the IEEE. Such permission of the IEEE does not in any way imply IEEE endorsement of any of the University of Pennsylvania's products or services. Internal or personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution must be obtained from the IEEE by writing to pubs-permissions@ieee.org. By choosing to view this document, you agree to all provisions of the copyright laws protecting it. 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.
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