Safe motion planning with environment uncertainty

by   Antony Thomas, et al.

We present an approach for safe motion planning under robot state and environment (obstacle and landmark location) uncertainties. To this end, we first develop an approach that accounts for the landmark uncertainties during robot localization. Existing planning approaches assume that the landmark locations are well known or are known with little uncertainty. However, this might not be true in practice. Noisy sensors and imperfect motions compound to the errors originating from the estimate of environment features. Moreover, possible occlusions and dynamic objects in the environment render imperfect landmark estimation. Consequently, not considering this uncertainty can wrongly localize the robot, leading to inefficient plans. Our approach thus incorporates the landmark uncertainty within the Bayes filter estimation framework. We also analyze the effect of considering this uncertainty and delineate the conditions under which it can be ignored. Second, we extend the state-of-the-art by computing an exact expression for the collision probability under Gaussian distributed robot motion, perception and obstacle location uncertainties. We formulate the collision probability process as a quadratic form in random variables. Under Gaussian distribution assumptions, an exact expression for collision probability is thus obtained which is computable in real-time. In contrast, existing approaches approximate the collision probability using upper-bounds that can lead to overly conservative estimate and thereby suboptimal plans. We demonstrate and evaluate our approach using a theoretical example and simulations. We also present a comparison of our approach to different state-of-the-art methods.


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