Classical task planning at an abstract level for achieving good low level motion planning under uncertainty

Antony Thomas, Fulvio Mastrogiovanni, Marco Baglietto, MPTP: Motion-planning-aware task planning for navigation in belief space, . Robotics and Autonomous Systems, Volume 141, 2021 DOI: 10.1016/j.robot.2021.103786.

We present an integrated Task-Motion Planning (TMP) framework for navigation in large-scale environments. Of late, TMP for manipulation has attracted significant interest resulting in a proliferation of different approaches. In contrast, TMP for navigation has received considerably less attention. Autonomous robots operating in real-world complex scenarios require planning in the discrete (task) space and the continuous (motion) space. In knowledge-intensive domains, on the one hand, a robot has to reason at the highest-level, for example, the objects to procure, the regions to navigate to in order to acquire them; on the other hand, the feasibility of the respective navigation tasks have to be checked at the execution level. This presents a need for motion-planning-aware task planners. In this paper, we discuss a probabilistically complete approach that leverages this task-motion interaction for navigating in large knowledge-intensive domains, returning a plan that is optimal at the task-level. The framework is intended for motion planning under motion and sensing uncertainty, which is formally known as belief space planning. The underlying methodology is validated in simulation, in an office environment and its scalability is tested in the larger Willow Garage world. A reasonable comparison with a work that is closest to our approach is also provided. We also demonstrate the adaptability of our approach by considering a building floor navigation domain. Finally, we also discuss the limitations of our approach and put forward suggestions for improvements and future work.

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