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Creating Star Worlds – Modelling Concave Obstacles for Reactive Motion Planning

by   Albin Dahlin, et al.

Motion planning methods like navigation functions and harmonic potential fields provide (almost) global convergence and are suitable for obstacle avoidance in dynamically changing environments due to their reactive nature. A common assumption in the control design is that the robot operates in a disjoint star world, i.e. all obstacles are strictly starshaped and mutually disjoint. However, in real-life scenarios obstacles may intersect due to expanded obstacle regions corresponding to robot radius or safety margins. To broaden the applicability of aforementioned reactive motion planning methods, we propose a method to transform a workspace of intersecting obstacles to a disjoint star world. The algorithm is based on two novel concepts presented here, namely admissible kernel and starshaped hull with specified kernel, which are closely related to the notion of starshaped hull. The utilization of the proposed method is illustrated with examples of a robot operating in a 2D workspace using a harmonic potential field approach in combination with the developed algorithm.


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