UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Path planning for improved target visibility : maintaining line of sight in a cluttered environment Baumann, Matthew Alexander


The visibility-aware path planner addresses the problem of path planning for target visibility. It computes sequences of motions that afford a line of sight to a stationary visual target for sensors on a robotic platform. The visibility-aware planner uses a model of the visible region, namely, the region of the task space in which a line of sight exists to the target. The planner also takes the orientation of the sensor into account, utilizing a model of the field of view frustum. The planner applies a penalty to paths that cause the sensor to lose target visibility by exiting the visible region or rotating so the target is not in the field of view. The planner applies these penalties to the edges in a probabilistic roadmap, providing weights in the roadmap graph for graph-search based planning algorithms. This thesis presents two variants on the planner. The static multi-query planner precomputes penalties for all roadmap edges and performs a best-path search using Dijkstra's algorithm. The dynamic single-query planner uses an iterative test-and-reject search to find paths of acceptable penalty without the benefit of precomputation. Four experiments are presented which validate the planners and present examples of the path planning for visibility on 6-DOF robot manipulators. The algorithms are statistically tested with multiple queries. Results show that the planner finds paths with significantly lower losses of target visibility than existing shortest-path planners.

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