Safe Robot Motion Planning via Reachability Analysis

Shreyas Kousik, University of Michigan


Location: Zoom

Time: 2:55p.m.

Abstract: For robots such as autonomous cars, delivery drones, and manipulator arms, to interact with and around humans, it is critical to certify the safety of their motion planning algorithms. Motion planning typically uses a three-tiered hierarchy; first, the robot plans a path to achieve a goal, ignoring dynamics; then, it plans a trajectory subject to dynamics that attempts to follow the path; and finally, it tracks the trajectory with a controller. Methods exist that attempt to certify safety at each of these tiers, but often suffer a tradeoff between safety and performance. This talk presents a recent approach, called Reachability-based Trajectory Design (RTD), that leverages reachability analysis and optimization to enforce safety at the trajectory planning tier. RTD enables strict guarantees without sacrificing performance. The method is applied to cars, drones, and arms, to show its capability and versatility.