A thesis outlines a path-planning system for autonomous underwater vehicles

Research student Emilio Hernandez Bes explored the concept of path planning for autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) in his doctoral thesis, carried out with the VICOROB research group at the University of Girona.

Emili Hernández, a research student from the VICOROB group at the University of Girona, developed a method using homotopy types to provide topological information on how paths avoid obstacles. Calculating a path with a homotopy type limits the search space, thus accelerating finding a solution.

The method developed by the researcher starts by generating homotopy types that connect the start point and end point of a workspace with obstacles. The types likely to provide low cost solutions are identified as ‘lower bound’, without having to calculate the path to the workspace. Finally, a path planner uses topological information provided by the homotopy types to generate solutions quickly, based on the types selected.

The research also outlines a method for generating local maps based on Occupancy Grid Maps (GMOs), which are subsequently used for path planning. The method will improve underwater vehicle navigation, using a technique that generates more accurate maps with information provided by sensors on the vehicle.

Directed by Dr. Peter Ridao and Dr. Marc Carreras, the thesis ‘Path Planning with Homotopic Constraints for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles’  can be viewed on the Doctoral Thesis Network webpage ( / 10 803/83 568).

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Proyecto financiado por el Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte en el marco del Programa Campus de Excelencia Internacional

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