Date of Original Version
Abstract or Description
As mobile robots venture into more difficult environments, more complex state-space paths are required to move safely and efficiently. The difference between mission success and failure can be determined by a mobile robot’s capacity to effectively navigate such paths in the presence of disturbances. This paper describes a technique for mobile robot model predictive control that utilizes the structure of a regional motion plan to effectively search the local continuum for an improved solution. The contribution, the receding horizon model-predictive control (RHMPC) technique, specifically addresses the problem of path following and obstacle avoidance through geometric singularities and discontinuities such as cusps, turn-in-place, and multi-point turn maneuvers in environments where terrain shape and vehicle mobility effects are non-negligible. The technique is formulated as an optimal controller that utilizes a model-predictive trajectory generator to relax parameterized control inputs initialized from a regional motion planner to navigate safely through the environment. Experimental results are presented for a six-wheeled skid-steered field robot in natural terrain.