Title page for ETD etd-01162006-112326

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Naik, Ankur
URN etd-01162006-112326
Title Arc Path Collision Avoidance Algorithm for Autonomous Ground Vehicles
Degree Master of Science
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Reinholtz, Charles F. Committee Chair
Abbott, A. Lynn Committee Member
Wicks, Alfred L. Committee Member
  • unmanned
  • collision avoidance
  • obstacle avoidance
  • autonomous
  • path planning
Date of Defense 2005-12-15
Availability unrestricted
Presented in this thesis is a collision avoidance algorithm designed around an arc path model. The algorithm was designed for use on Virginia Tech robots entered in the 2003 and 2004 Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC) and on our 2004 entry into the DARPA Grand Challenge. The arc path model was used because of the simplicity of the calculations and because it can accurately represent the base kinematics for Ackerman or differentially steered vehicles.

Clothoid curves have been used in the past to create smooth paths with continuously varying curvature, but clothoids are computationally intensive. The circular arc algorithm proposed here is designed with simplicity and versatility in mind. It is readily adaptable to ground vehicles of any size and shape. The algorithm is also designed to run with minimal tuning. The algorithm can be used as a stand alone reactive collision avoidance algorithm in simple scenarios, but it can be better optimized for speed and safety when guided by a global path planner. A complete navigation architecture is presented as an example of how obstacle avoidance can be incorporated in the algorithm.

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