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Path Planning in Dynamic Environments using Generative RNNs and Monte Carlo Tree Search

by   Stuart Eiffert, et al.

State of the art methods for robotic path planning in dynamic environments, such as crowds or traffic, rely on hand crafted motion models for agents. These models often do not reflect interactions of agents in real world scenarios. To overcome this limitation, this paper proposes an integrated path planning framework using generative Recurrent Neural Networks within a Monte Carlo Tree Search (MCTS). This approach uses a learnt model of social response to predict crowd dynamics during planning across the action space. This extends our recent work using generative RNNs to learn the relationship between planned robotic actions and the likely response of a crowd. We show that the proposed framework can considerably improve motion prediction accuracy during interactions, allowing more effective path planning. The performance of our method is compared in simulation with existing methods for collision avoidance in a crowd of pedestrians, demonstrating the ability to control future states of nearby individuals. We also conduct preliminary real world tests to validate the effectiveness of our method.


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