Path Planner for Dynamic Environments

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: W31P4Q-10-C-0202
Agency Tracking Number: 08SB2-0572
Amount: $921,179.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: SB082-030
Solicitation Number: 2008.2
Small Business Information
PO Box 202, West End of Second Street, Essington, PA, 19029
DUNS: 793042243
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jim Hacunda
 Director of Systems Engin
 (610) 521-6115
Business Contact
 Gregory Piasecki
Title: Director of Commercializa
Phone: (610) 521-6115
Research Institution
Despite excellent recent progress in path planning, current state-of-the-art planners are still incapable of operating robustly in environments that are both cluttered and highly dynamic. The challenge is two-fold. First, predicting the trajectories of dynamic obstacles (i.e., cars, humans, aircraft) is very noisy. As a result, to achieve robust execution, perception modules need to provide a richer representation of predictions while planning modules need to account for the uncertainty in the predictions. Second, planning with dynamic obstacles is computationally complex because it requires adding time as an additional dimension while paths in dynamic environments need to be constantly re-computed. In Phase I, we have developed a novel path planner that addresses these challenges. It includes a novel representation of dynamic obstacles that can be used to generate safe paths efficiently and is general enough for use with different sensor suites. The planner also uses a novel data structure - time-bounded lattice. The lattice can be used efficiently with our previously developed re-planning algorithms suitable for constant re-planning. In Phase II, we propose to extend the planner to support planning for UAVs, transition it into the DPI real-time control software and demonstrate its performance on real test flights of DPI helicopters.

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

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