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Proceedings Paper

Path Planning Using Potential Field Representation
Author(s): Yong Koo Hwang; Narendra Ahuja
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Paper Abstract

Finding a safe, smooth, and efficient path to move an object through obstacles is necessary for object manipulation in robotics and automation. This paper presents an approach to two-dimensional as well as three-dimensional findpath problems that divides the problem into two steps. First, rough paths are found based only on topological information. This is accomplished by assigning to each obstacle an artificial potential similar to the electrostatic potential to prevent the moving object from colliding with the obstacles, and then locating minimum potential valleys. Second, the paths defined by the minimum potential valleys are modified to obtain an optimal collision-free path and orientations of the moving object along the path. Three algorithms are given to accomplish this second step. The first algorithm simply minimizes a weighted sum of the path length and the total potential experienced by the moving object along the path. This algorithm solves only "easy" problems where the free space between the obstacles is wide. The other two algorithms are developed to handle the problems in which intelligent maneuvering of the moving object among tightly packed obstacles is necessary. These three algorithms based on potential fields are nearly complete in scope, and solve a large variety of problems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 March 1988
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 0937, Applications of Artificial Intelligence VI, (29 March 1988);
Show Author Affiliations
Yong Koo Hwang, The University of Illinois (United States)
Narendra Ahuja, The University of Illinois (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0937:
Applications of Artificial Intelligence VI
Mohan M. Trivedi, Editor(s)

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