Learning the parameters of a robot navigator through Q-learning

Chang, L., Shan, L., Jiang, C. et al, Reinforcement based mobile robot path planning with improved dynamic window approach in unknown environment, . Auton Robot 45, 51–76 (2021) DOI: 10.1007/s10514-020-09947-4.

Mobile robot path planning in an unknown environment is a fundamental and challenging problem in the field of robotics. Dynamic window approach (DWA) is an effective method of local path planning, however some of its evaluation functions are inadequate and the algorithm for choosing the weights of these functions is lacking, which makes it highly dependent on the global reference and prone to fail in an unknown environment. In this paper, an improved DWA based on Q-learning is proposed. First, the original evaluation functions are modified and extended by adding two new evaluation functions to enhance the performance of global navigation. Then, considering the balance of effectiveness and speed, we define the state space, action space and reward function of the adopted Q-learning algorithm for the robot motion planning. After that, the parameters of the proposed DWA are adaptively learned by Q-learning and a trained agent is obtained to adapt to the unknown environment. At last, by a series of comparative simulations, the proposed method shows higher navigation efficiency and successful rate in the complex unknown environment. The proposed method is also validated in experiments based on XQ-4 Pro robot to verify its navigation capability in both static and dynamic environment.

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