A real-time path planning approach without the computation of Cspace obstacles

Yongji Wang, Liu Han, Mingshu Li, Qing Wang, Jinhui Zhou, Matthew Cartmell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


An important concept proposed in the early stage of robot path planning field is the shrinking of the robot to a point and meanwhile expanding of the obstacles in the workspace as a set of new obstacles. The resulting grown obstacles are called the Configuration Space (Cspace) obstacles. The find-path problem is then transformed into that of finding a collision free path for a point robot among the Cspace obstacles. However, the research experiences obtained so far have shown that the calculation of the Cspace obstacles is very hard work when the following situations occur: 1. both the robot and the obstacles are not polygons and 2. The robot is allowed to rotate. The situation is even worse when the robot and obstacles are three dimensional (3D) objects with various shapes. Obviously a direct path planning approach without the calculation of the Cspace obstacles is strongly needed. This paper presents such a new real-time robot path planning approach which, to the best of our knowledge, is the first one in the robotic community. The fundamental ideas are the utilization of inequality and optimization technique. Simulation results have been presented to show its merits.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-187
Number of pages15
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2004


  • real time system
  • under water vehicle
  • subsea vehicle
  • path planning
  • obstacle avoidance


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