A Novel Expeditious Optimisation Algorithm for Reactive Motion Control of Manipulators

April 2, 2021 (3y ago)

Project Website Published Paper Arxiv Paper Code Video

Published in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L)

Authors: Jesse Haviland Peter Corke


We present NEO, a fast and purely reactive motion controller for manipulators which can avoid static and dynamic obstacles while moving to the desired end-effector pose. Additionally, our controller maximises the manipulability of the robot during the trajectory, while avoiding joint position and velocity limits. NEO is wrapped into a strictly convex quadratic programme which, when considering obstacles, joint limits, and manipulability on a 7°-of-freedom robot, is generally solved in a few ms. While NEO is not intended to replace state-of-the-art motion planners, our experiments show that it is a viable alternative for scenes with moderate complexity while also being capable of reactive control. For more complex scenes, NEO is better suited as a reactive local controller, in conjunction with a global motion planner. We compare NEO to motion planners on a standard benchmark in simulation and additionally illustrate and verify its operation on a physical robot in a dynamic environment. We provide an open-source library which implements our controller.