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An Integrated Localization, Motion Planning and Obstacle Avoidance Algorithm in Belief Space


As robots are being increasingly used in close proximity to humans and objects, it is imperative that robots operate safely and efficiently under real-world conditions. Yet, the environment is seldom known perfectly. Noisy sensors and actuation errors compound to the errors introduced while estimating features of the environment. We present a novel approach (1) to incorporate these uncertainties for robot state estimation and (2) to compute the probability of collision pertaining to the estimated robot configurations. The expression for collision probability is obtained as an infinite series, and we prove its convergence. An upper bound for the truncation error is also derived, and the number of terms required is demonstrated by analyzing the convergence for different robot and obstacle configurations. We evaluate our approach using two simulation domains which use a roadmap-based strategy to synthesize trajectories that satisfy collision probability bounds.

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  1. The application of Bayes filter to the localization problem is called Markov localization [31].

  2. Note that the concepts discussed here are applicable to any sensor used for robot localization. In particular, in this work (Section 5) we use a laser range finder and beacons that give signal measurements in terms of the distance to the beacons.

  3. Sigma hulls are convex hulls of the geometry of individual robot links transformed according to the sigma points in joint space [18].

  4. For example, the approach in [5] computes a value lower than the actual when the robot state covariance is small.

  5. For the comparison, the approaches in [5, 19] have been reproduced to the best of our understanding and the reproduced codes (including numerical integration and our approach) can be found here—


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Thomas, A., Mastrogiovanni, F. & Baglietto, M. An Integrated Localization, Motion Planning and Obstacle Avoidance Algorithm in Belief Space. Intel Serv Robotics 14, 235–250 (2021).

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