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Volume 26 Issue 2 - Publication Date: 1 February 2007
Special Issue on the Fifth International Conference on Field and Service Robotics, 2005
 
Optimal Rough Terrain Trajectory Generation for Wheeled Mobile Robots
 
T.M. Howard and A. Kelly Robotics Institute Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890, USA
 
An algorithm is presented for wheeled mobile robot trajectory generation that achieves a high degree of generality and efficiency. The generality derives from numerical linearization and inversion of forward models of propulsion, suspension, and motion for any type of vehicle. Efficiency is achieved by using fast numerical optimization techniques and effective initial guesses for the vehicle controls parameters. This approach can accommodate such effects as rough terrain, vehicle dynamics, models of wheel-terrain interaction, and other effects of interest. It can accommodate boundary and internal constraints while optimizing an objective function that might, for example, involve such criteria as obstacle avoidance, cost, risk, time, or energy consumption in any combination. The algorithm is efficient enough to use in real time due to its use of nonlinear programming techniques that involve searching the space of parameterized vehicle controls. Applications of the presented methods are demonstrated for planetary rovers.
 
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