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Real-time obstacle avoidance for fast mobile robots

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2 Author(s)
Borenstein, J. ; Adv. Technol. Lab., Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor, MI, USA ; Koren, Y.

A real-time obstacle avoidance approach for mobile robots has been developed and implemented. It permits the detection of unknown obstacles simultaneously with the steering of the mobile robot to avoid collisions and advance toward the target. The novelty of this approach, entitled the virtual force field method, lies in the integration of two known concepts: certainty grids for obstacle representation and potential fields for navigation. This combination is especially suitable for the accommodation of inaccurate sensor data as well as for sensor fusion and makes possible continuous motion of the robot with stopping in front of obstacles. This navigation algorithm also takes into account the dynamic behavior of a fast mobile robot and solves the local minimum trap problem. Experimental results from a mobile robot running at a maximum speed of 0.78 m/s demonstrate the power of the algorithm.<>

Published in:

Systems, Man and Cybernetics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 5 )

Date of Publication:

Sept.-Oct. 1989

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