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Accelerated Low-power Motion Planning for Real-time Interactive Autonomy

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: 140D6318C0119
Agency Tracking Number: D2-2158
Amount: $1,498,452.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: SB172-009
Solicitation Number: 17.2
Solicitation Year: 2017
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-09-11
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-10-10
Small Business Information
12 Channel St Ste 502
Boston, MA 02210
United States
DUNS: 080306310
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Peter Howard
 (781) 588-0142
Business Contact
 Peter Howard
Phone: (781) 588-0142
Research Institution

The inability to plan in real-time is a major reason why robot manufacturing is restricted to high-value, high-volume products, in carefully engineered factories where robots blindly repeat pre-programmed trajectories. Today, robots simply cannot generate collision-free motion on the fly. We are solving this core problem—real-time motion planning in unstructured, fluid environments and on diverse Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP)-constrained robot platforms—by co-designing custom motion planning hardware with novel planning algorithms. Just like the GPUs that revolutionized graphics, our motion planning processors will exploit the phenomenal speed and massive parallelism available to dedicated circuitry to make thousands of plans per second. Real-time motion planning is only possible with the combination of specialized hardware and novel algorithms, and we are the first to develop it. Our processors will generate thousands of plans per second, which is faster than perception and enables the robot to create multiple viable motion plans and choose the one that is most convenient (e.g., for grasping) or least likely to collide with dynamic obstacles with uncertain trajectories.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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