Multimap Procedures for Robot Route Finding in Open Terrain

Report No. ARL-TR-1897
Authors: Celmins, Aivars
Date/Pages: February 1999; 38 pages
Abstract: An important task for scouting robots in open terrain is the planning of route to a prescribed destination with the help of digital maps. In an open environment, available terrain maps usually will be too large for a timely analysis of a whole map and may cover areas that are not relevant for route planning. One needs, therefore, route-planning procedures that use partial terrain maps. This report presents two such procedures that use sets of partial maps. A first method uses a series of vicinity maps that are aligned with the position of the robot; a second method uses sets of telescopic maps that follow the robot. In both procedures, the routes are determined using a navigation function method based on Huygens' principle of wave propagation. Examples of results by the two methods are presented and compared. It is concluded that the vicinity map method is faster, but the telescopic map is more robust and its results are less sensitive to the choices of sizes and resolutions of partial maps.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: February 1, 1999