A Hovercraft that Translates in a 3D World

This result appears in Randomized Kinodynamic Planning by Steven M. LaValle and James J. Kuffner, Jr., International Journal of Robotics Research, 20(5):378--400, May 2001 (an earlier version appeared at ICRA in 1999).

The task is to determine how to fire thrusters to navigate a spacecraft from an initial state to a goal state. The image below shows the RRTs (this is a projection from the 6D state space), and the computed trajectory. The spacecraft has three pairs of opposing thrusters, and is capable of translation only.

An animated GIF that illustrates the trajectory is shown (however, it does not animate well on many platforms because of its size).

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