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Robot Motion Planning in Dynamic, Cluttered, and Uncertain Environments: the Partially Closed-Loop Receding Horizon Control Approach


Du Toit, Noel Eduard (2010) Robot Motion Planning in Dynamic, Cluttered, and Uncertain Environments: the Partially Closed-Loop Receding Horizon Control Approach. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/SD3N-JR18.


This thesis is concerned with robot motion planning in dynamic, cluttered, and uncertain environments. Successful and efficient robot operation in such environments requires reasoning about the future system evolution and the uncertainty associated with obstacles and moving agents in the environment. Current motion planning strategies ignore future information and are limited by the resulting growth of uncertainty as the system is evolved. This thesis presents an approach that accounts for future information gathering (and the quality of that information) in the planning process. The Partially Closed-Loop Receding Horizon Control approach, introduced in this thesis, is based on Dynamic Programming with imperfect state information. Probabilistic collision constraints, due to the need for obstacle avoidance between the robot and obstacles with uncertain locations and geometries, are developed and imposed. By accounting for the anticipated future information, the uncertainty associated with the system evolution is managed, allowing for greater numbers of moving agents and more complex agent behaviors to be handled. Simulation results demonstrate the benefit of the proposed approach over existing approaches in static and dynamic environments. Complex agent behaviors, including multimodal and interactive agent-robot models, are considered.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Robotics, Stochastic, Receding Horizon Control, Model Predictive Control, Uncertain, Dynamic Environments, Clutter
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Mechanical Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Burdick, Joel Wakeman
Thesis Committee:
  • Burdick, Joel Wakeman (chair)
  • Murray, Richard M.
  • Perona, Pietro
  • Beck, James L.
  • Blackmore, James C.
Defense Date:10 November 2009
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:02042010-152638957
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:5545
Deposited By: Noel Du Toit
Deposited On:05 Mar 2010 22:30
Last Modified:08 Nov 2019 18:08

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