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To deal with the path planning of mobile robot in unknown environment, an improved rapidly-exploring random tree (RRT) is presented by analyzing basic RRT algorithm. We applied improved RRT algorithm to local navigation of a mobile robot in unknown environment. Detecting local unknown environments by robot sensor system, the method orients a biased direction from RRT algorithm is used to drive the robot to avoid obstacles and move to the goal. The method is not only simple and flexible, but also reduces the nodes of tree and the amount of calculation for real-time computation. We conducted the simulation to verify the proposed method in real unknown environment.