A Caltech Library Service

Online motion planning for tethered robots in extreme terrain

Tanner, Melissa M. and Burdick, Joel W. and Nesnas, Issa A. D. (2013) Online motion planning for tethered robots in extreme terrain. In: 2013 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). IEEE , Piscataway, NJ, pp. 5557-5564. ISBN 978-1-4673-5641-1.

Full text is not posted in this repository. Consult Related URLs below.

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Several potentially important science targets have been observed in extreme terrains (steep or vertical slopes, possibly covered in loose soil or granular media) on other planets. Robots which can access these extreme terrains will likely use tethers to provide climbing and stabilizing force. To prevent tether entanglement during descent and subsequent ascent through such terrain, a motion planning procedure is needed. Abad-Manterola, Nesnas, and Burdick [1] previously presented such a motion planner for the case in which the geometry of the terrain is known a priori with high precision. Their algorithm finds ascent/descent paths of fixed homotopy, which minimizes the likelihood of tether entanglement. This paper presents an extension of the algorithm to the case where the terrain is poorly known prior to the start of the descent. In particular, we develop new results for how the discovery of previously unknown obstacles modifies the homotopy classes underlying the motion planning problem. We also present a planning algorithm which takes the modified homotopy into account. An example illustrates the methodology.

Item Type:Book Section
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle
Additional Information:© 2013 IEEE. The authors would like to thank the Keck Institute for Space Studies for their support, and the reviewers for their insightful comments. The third author would like to acknowledge support from the JPL RTD program.
Group:Keck Institute for Space Studies
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS)UNSPECIFIED
JPL Research and Technology Development FundUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140724-130333919
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Tanner, M.M.; Burdick, J.W.; Nesnas, IAD., "Online motion planning for tethered robots in extreme terrain," Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2013 IEEE International Conference on , vol., no., pp.5557,5564, 6-10 May 2013 doi: 10.1109/ICRA.2013.6631375 URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:47468
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:24 Jul 2014 20:34
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 17:40

Repository Staff Only: item control page