A novel cooperative path planning framework is presented for maintaining formations along a desired, unknown route where spatial and temporal objectives must be considered. It uses a reference frame based on longitudinal spacing along the route and lateral orthogonal offsets to plan for route clearance and traversal around previously unknown obstacles. By defining desired positions in terms of offsets from the route, the spatial and temporal components can be decoupled. The spatial components are planned using a two-step planner for fast real-time planning. The spatially defined paths are passed to a speed adaptation algorithm for temporal considerations including inter-vehicle collision avoidance. The approach balances real-time obstacle avoidance, spatial structure of the formation, and inter-vehicle safety considerations.
Greg Droge, Alexander Xydes, Amir Rahmani, and Chris Scrapper, "Adaptive formation control for route-following ground vehicles," Proc. SPIE 10195, Unmanned Systems Technology XIX, 101950K (Presented at SPIE Defense + Security: April 12, 2017; Published: 5 May 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2266874.
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