5. Sampling-Based Motion Planning

There are two main philosophies for addressing the motion planning problem, in Formulation 4.1 from Section 4.3.1. This chapter presents one of the philosophies, sampling-based motion planning, which is outlined in Figure 5.1. The main idea is to avoid the explicit construction of $ {\cal C}_{obs}$, as described in Section 4.3, and instead conduct a search that probes the C-space with a sampling scheme. This probing is enabled by a collision detection module, which the motion planning algorithm considers as a ``black box.'' This enables the development of planning algorithms that are independent of the particular geometric models. The collision detection module handles concerns such as whether the models are semi-algebraic sets, 3D triangles, nonconvex polyhedra, and so on. This general philosophy has been very successful in recent years for solving problems from robotics, manufacturing, and biological applications that involve thousands and even millions of geometric primitives. Such problems would be practically impossible to solve using techniques that explicitly represent $ {\cal C}_{obs}$.

Figure 5.1: The sampling-based planning philosophy uses collision detection as a ``black box'' that separates the motion planning from the particular geometric and kinematic models. C-space sampling and discrete planning (i.e., searching) are performed.
\begin{figure}\centerline{\psfig{file=figs/sbpdiagram.eps,width=\columnwidth} }\end{figure}

Steven M LaValle 2012-04-20