LQG-MP- Optimized Path Planning for Robots with Motion Uncertainty and Imperfect State Information.p

LQG-MP- Optimized Path Planning for Robots with Motion Uncertainty and Imperfect State Information.p

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LQG-MP: Optimized Path Planning for Robots with Motion Uncertainty and Imperfect State Information Jur van den Berg Pieter Abbeel Ken Goldberg Abstract — This paper presents LQG-MP (linear-quadratic Gaussian motion planning), a new approach to robot motion planning that takes into account the sensors and the controller that will be used during execution of the robot’s path. LQG- MP is based on the linear-quadratic controller with Gaussian models of uncertainty, and explicitly characterizes in advance (i.e., before execution) the a-priori probability distributions of the state of the robot along its path. These distributions can be used to assess the quality of the path, for instance by computing the probability of avoiding collisions. Many methods can be used to generate the needed ensemble of candidate paths from which the best path is selected; in this paper we report results using the RRT-algorithm. We study the performance of LQG-MP with simulation experiments in three scenarios involving a kinodynamic car-like robot, multi-robot planning with differential-drive robots, and a 6-DOF manipulator. I. I NTRODUCTION Motion uncertainty, i.e. the fact that the motion of the robot unpredictably deviates from what a dynamics model predicts, and imperfect state information due to partial or noisy measurements of the robot’s state, arise in many real- world robotic tasks ranging from guiding mobile robots over uneven terrain to performing robotic surgery with high-DOF manipulators. The amount of motion and sensing uncertainty may depend on the particular motion that is executed and the state the robot is in, so different paths for the robot will have different uncertainties associated with them. Because safety and accuracy are of critical importance for many robotic tasks, these uncertainties will have significant influence on which path is best for the task at hand. The challenge we discuss in this paper is to precisely quantify these uncertain- ties in advance, such that the best path can be selected for the robot. Many traditional path planners assume deterministic mo- tion and full knowledge of the state [18], [13], and leave issues of uncertainty to the control phase in which the path may be executed using a feedback controller [15]. Planning and control are related but distinct fields. While recent work on path planning has addressed motion and/or sensing uncertainty (see Section II), most planning methods do not account for control during execution and most control methods take the path as given. LQG-MP builds a bridge between these disciplines and draws from results in both. The key insight of LQG-MP is that the a-priori knowledge of the sensors and controller that will be used during the execution of the path can be used to optimize the path in the This work was supported in part by NSF Award 0905344 and NIH Award 1R01EB-006435-01A1.
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