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Home | Seminars and Symposia | Past seminars/symposia: Monday, February 1, 2010

DTC Seminar Series

Fast Path Planning for Uncertain Environments: Theory and Experiments


Bin Xu
Autonomous Systems and Control Laboratory
Virginia Tech

Monday, February 1, 2010
4:00 pm

402 Walter Library

Successful autonomous navigation requires that an Autonomous Surface Vehicle (ASV) sense the surface environment, identify stationary and moving obstacles, and then optimally plan and re-plan a route in real-time. In this talk, we describe a receding horizon control method that can quickly determine optimal routes upon the detection of new obstacles. The proposed receding horizon controller is based on level set methods. It possesses a hybrid structure that uses global or local level sets depending on a matching condition. Such hybrid structure is favorable in the sense that locally optimal controller can be quickly computed by local level sets and convergence to the target is guaranteed by global level sets. Then, we rigorously investigate how global level sets change in response to new information locally sensed by a vehicle. The result is a dynamic fast marching algorithm which usually requires significantly less computation that would otherwise be the case. We demonstrate a successful field trial for which an autonomous surface vehicle navigated 2.5 miles through a riverine environment.


Bin Xu received the B.S. degree in control and automation from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China in 2003. In 2005, he earned the M.S. degree in electrical engineering from Tulane University, New Orleans, LA; in December 2009, he was awarded with the Ph.D degree in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA. He conducts research in the area of linear and nonlinear control, optimal control, stochastic control, and autonomous vehicle systems.