CS326A - Motion Planning - Project

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Each student will have to complete a programming project. The project consists of designing, implementing, and experimenting with a motion planner to solve an “interesting” problem. Ideally, each project will be done by a team of two students, each bringing a different set of skills, e.g., 3-D graphics, computational geometry, algorithms, and application area. But single-student and three-student projects are also acceptable.

Students are encouraged to choose the topics of their projects. In the past, several PhD students who took this class chose a project that eventually became a major part of their PhD theses, e.g., analysis of building code (motion planning for wheelchairs), analysis of ligand-protein binding motions, kinodynamic planning for space robots, motion planning for rock-climbing robot, multi-robot motion planning, coordination of cranes on construction sites, egress simulation.

You will eventually demonstrate the implemented software graphically on multiple examples. Those teams who are unsure of their abilities to demonstrate 3-D simulators should opt for a project with 2-D graphics only.

Possible Project Topics:

• Search and escape: Given an environment with obstacles, plan the motion of one or several robots to find an evading target. In addition, plan the motion of the evading target. Play one program against the other. [paper]

• Navigate in a complex virtual environment: Develop motion planning techniques to intuitively navigate through 3D virtual environments (virtual camera).

• Locomotion of a multi-legged robot: Develop a motion planner for a biped or 4-legged robot to navigate in irregular outdoor terrain (selection of foot placements + generation of motion between foot placements) [paper1] [paper2]

• Inspection of 3D structures: Develop a planner for a free-flying robot to efficiently inspect space structures (e.g., space station), e.g., to find cracks.

• Motion of a small groups of characters

• Verification of building code: Check accessibility for wheelchairs, fire/emergency exits, … [paper]

• Find that no path exists: A classical path planner finds a collision-free path planner between two robot configurations. When a PRM planner fails to find a path, one possibility is that no collision-free path exists between the two configurations. But another possibility is that there exists one that the planner failed to find. Create a program whose goal is to prove that no collision-free path exists between two given configurations. [paper]

Timetable:

- October 3: Form teams and pre-select a project topic. Email us proposal with brief description

- October 3-10: Meet with me, Jeremy, and/or Kris to refine your project topics

- October 17: Present your project topics in class

- October 31, November 14: Email us progress reports (a few lines each), but tell us asap if you encounter substantial difficulties.

- December 3 and 5: Present your project results in class: demos and powerpoint slides. Each presentation will last about 20 min. You will describe your project, show demos, and discuss limitations.