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Numerical solution of differential systems with algebraic inequalities arising in robot programming

Abstract:

Recently, new robot programming approaches have proposed the use of programmed constraints as an executable specification language for the desired behavior of a robot. The constraint-based approaches are intermediate level languages, promising a higher, more declarative level of programming than trajectory-based approaches, while being more tractable computationally than motion planning. This paper considers a numerical algorithm for solution of differential systems subject to algebraic inequality constraints. These are the mathematical structures behind the constraint-based approach. Our approach is based on a principle of `least constraint’, consisting of a dynamic integration of the equations of motion coupled with invocation of a control mechanism to ensure that the robot trajectory avoids all constraint boundaries. This is achieved by minimization of a barrier function defined using buffer zones near the constraint boundaries. Determination of the buffer zones is done dynamically, corresponding to a local planning strategy.

Authors: Raymond J. Spiteri, Uri M. Ascher, Dinesh K. Pai

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