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FASTER: Fast and Safe Trajectory Planner for Flights in Unknown Environments

by   Jesus Tordesillas, et al.

Planning high-speed trajectories for UAVs in unknown environments requires algorithmic techniques that enable fast reaction times to guarantee safety as more information about the environment becomes available. The standard approach to ensure safety is to enforce a "stop" condition in the free-known space. However, this can severely limit the speed of the vehicle, especially in situations where much of the world is unknown. Moreover, the ad-hoc time and interval allocation scheme usually imposed on the trajectory also leads to conservative and slower trajectories. This work proposes FASTER (Fast and Safe Trajectory Planner) to ensure safety without sacrificing speed. FASTER obtains high-speed trajectories by enabling the local planner to optimize in both the free-known and unknown spaces. Safety guarantees are ensured by always having a feasible, safe back-up trajectory in the free-known space at the start of each replanning step. The Mixed Integer Quadratic Program formulation proposed allows the solver to choose the trajectory interval allocation, and the time allocation is found by a line search algorithm initialized with a heuristic computed from the previous replanning iteration. This proposed algorithm is tested extensively both in simulation and in real hardware, showing agile flights in unknown cluttered environments with velocities up to 7.8 m/s. To demonstrate the generality of the proposed framework, FASTER is also applied to a skid-steer robot, and the maximum speed specified for the robot (2 m/s) is achieved in real hardware experiments.


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Code Repositories


3D Trajectory Planner in Unknown Environments

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