A Caltech Library Service

STEP: Stochastic Traversability Evaluation and Planning for Risk-Aware Off-road Navigation

Fan, David D. and Otsu, Kyohei and Kubo, Yuki and Dixit, Anushri and Burdick, Joel and Agha-Mohammadi, Ali-Akbar (2021) STEP: Stochastic Traversability Evaluation and Planning for Risk-Aware Off-road Navigation. In: Robotics: Science and Systems XVII. RSS Foundation , Ithaca, NY, pp. 1-21. ISBN 978-0-9923747-7-8.

[img] PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.

[img] PDF - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Although ground robotic autonomy has gained widespread usage in structured and controlled environments; autonomy in unknown and off-road terrain remains a difficult problem. Extreme; off-road; and unstructured environments such as undeveloped wilderness; caves; and rubble pose unique and challenging problems for autonomous navigation. To tackle these problems we propose an approach for assessing traversability and planning a safe; feasible; and fast trajectory in real-time. Our approach; which we name STEP (Stochastic Traversability Evaluation and Planning); relies on: 1) rapid uncertainty-aware mapping and traversability evaluation; 2) tail risk assessment using the Conditional Value-at-Risk (CVaR); and 3) efficient risk and constraint-aware kinodynamic motion planning using sequential quadratic programming-based (SQP) model predictive control (MPC). We analyze our method in simulation and validate its efficacy on wheeled and legged robotic platforms exploring extreme terrains including an abandoned subway and an underground lava tube.

Item Type:Book Section
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper ItemVideo
Otsu, Kyohei0000-0002-9363-8817
Burdick, Joel0000-0002-3091-540X
Agha-Mohammadi, Ali-Akbar0000-0001-5509-1841
Alternate Title:STEP: Stochastic Traversability Evaluation and Planning for Safe Off-road Navigation
Additional Information:© 2021 Robotics Science & Systems Foundation. The work is performed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (80NM0018D0004), and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)UNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20211008-222405905
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:111307
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:08 Oct 2021 22:51
Last Modified:08 Oct 2021 22:51

Repository Staff Only: item control page