📑 Paper on motion planning for contact published at IROS 2023!

CAT-RRT Motion Planning that Admits Contact One Link at a Time

by Nataliya Nechyporenko on October 09, 2023

Due to the strict nature of collision checking robots are limited in their ability to make contact with their surroundings. This makes is difficult to complete real-world tasks, such as:

  • Reaching in clutter
  • Rearranging objects
  • Navigating tight spaces

To address these issues, we present a novel sampling-based optimization planner named Contact Admissible Transition-based RRT (CAT-RRT), which:

  • Uses a per-link cost heuristic to prioritize motion with links that are unrestricted by contact
  • Generates feasible trajectories that admit contact with objects

We show that this approach lead to paths with a better balance between path length, computation cost, and contact.

Take a look at the project website for more information and supplementary material!


Screenshots of CAT-RRT operating on a real-life robot. The planner allows the robot to make soft contact with the red balloon by mitigating the reliance on collision queries through a novel cost function.