Here are some of the results obtained using our parallel algorithm for synthesizing motion plans for redundant robot arms operating in realistic environments.
Movie The first example, displays a "fairly typical" result delivered by the seqential algorithm. The robot is attempting to place its middle finger on the little red button below the opening in the yellow table. The sequential algorithm sometimes delivers good paths, however, due to the probablistic nature of the algorithm (illustrated by the wandering movements in this example), it also delivers the kind of path shown here in a significant number of instances. The kind of path delivered depends upon the robot, the workspace in which the robot operates, and the difficulty of the reach.
Movie This example shows the improvement our parallel formulation is capable of delivering. Both the initial configuration and goal of the robot is the same. The only difference is that the parallel formulation delivers a much shorter and smoother path (about 65 times faster than the sequential algorithm). Using 256 CM-5 processors, on average about 1/3 of a second is required to synthesize a plan for the robot.
For more images of the Robotics Research K-1207i arm look here .
Partial funding for work in motion planning has been provided by the National Science Foundation under grant 9726332.