Path Planner for Dynamic Environments

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: W31P4Q-09-C-0176
Agency Tracking Number: 08SB2-0590
Amount: $98,024.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: SB082-030
Solicitation Number: 2008.2
Small Business Information
2200 Kraft Dr, Ste 1325, Blacksburg, VA, 24060
DUNS: 186184029
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 David Conner
 Research Scientist
 (540) 443-9262
Business Contact
 Garnett Linkous
Title: Contracts Manager
Phone: (540) 443-9262
Research Institution
Many modern approaches to autonomy use a layered planning technique where a conventional path planner plans a nominal desired path, and a reactive planner plans trajectories over a local region. In relatively structured environments with good localization, this layered approach has been proven to work well, as shown by TORC’s successful 3rd place entry in the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge. The overall goal of this Phase I SBIR program is to develop new planning algorithms that allow operation in environments with dynamic obstacles, and do not depend on idealized sensors or accurate global localization. TORC proposes to evaluate two distinct approaches during this Phase I feasibility study. The first approach will use new Rapidly Exploring Dense Tree (RDT/RRT)-based techniques to plan among possible actions. The second approach extends our previous success in the Urban Challenge by creating time indexed costs based on forward simulations of object behavior. This augmented cost map will leverage the ease of representation and searching trajectories, and provide a method of including object motion.

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

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