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Incorporating range sensing in the robot navigation function

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2 Author(s)
V. J. Lumelsky ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Yale Univ., New Haven, CT, USA ; T. Skewis

A model of mobile robot navigation is considered in which the robot is a point automaton operating in an environment with unknown obstacles of arbitrary shapes. The robot's input information includes its own and the target-points coordinates as well as local sensing information such as that from stereo vision or a range finder. These algorithmic issues are addressed: (1) Is it possible to combine sensing and planning functions to produce `active sensing' guided by the needs of planning? (The answer is yes). (2) Can richer sensing (e.g., stereo vision versus tactile) guarantee better performance, that is, resulting in shorter paths? (The general answer is no). A paradigm for combining range data with motion planning is presented. It turns out that extensive modifications of simpler tactile algorithms are needed to take full advantage of additional sensing capabilities. Two algorithms that guarantee convergence and exhibit different styles of behavior are described, and their performance is demonstrated in simulated examples

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IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics  (Volume:20 ,  Issue: 5 )