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Abstract

Cesar Rodriguez, Jory Denny, Sam Jacobs, Shawna L. Thomas, Nancy M. Amato, "Blind RRT: A Probabilistically Complete Distributed RRT," In Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. Intel. Rob. Syst. (IROS), pp. 1758 - 1765, Tokyo, Japan, Nov 2013.
Proceedings(ps, pdf, abstract)

Rapidly-Exploring Random Trees (RRTs) have been successful at finding feasible solutions for many types of problems. With motion planning becoming more computationally demanding, we turn to parallel motion planning for efficient solutions. Existing work on distributed RRTs has been limited by the overhead that global communication requires. A recent approach, Radial RRT, demonstrated a scalable algorithm that subdivides the space into regions to increase the computation locality. However, if an obstacle completely blocks RRT growth in a region, the planning space is not covered and is thus not probabilistically complete. We present a new algorithm, Blind RRT, which ignores obstacles during initial growth to efficiently explore the entire space. Because obstacles are ignored, free components of the tree become disconnected and fragmented. Blind RRT merges parts of the tree that have become disconnected from the root. We show how this algorithm can be applied to the Radial RRT framework allowing both scalability and effectiveness in motion planning. This method is a probabilistically complete approach to parallel RRTs. We show that our method not only scales but also overcomes the motion planning limitations that Radial RRT has in a series of difficult motion planning tasks.