Docking a Satellite in the Shuttle Bay

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 satellite from an initial state to a goal state (which brings to satellite to rest in the shuttle cargo bay). The image below shows the RRTs (this is a projection from the 12D state space), and the computed trajectory. The satellite is capable of both translation and rotation.

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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