Time-optimal smooth-path motion planning for a mobile robot with kinematic constraints

K. Jiang, L. D. Seneviratne, S. W.E. Earles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


This paper presents a novel time-optimal motion planning strategy for a mobile robot with kinematic constraints. The method works in environments in presence of obstacles, without needing to generate the configuration space for the robot. Further, it derives a minimum time first derivative smooth path, as opposed to a minimum distance path which is commonly given by various present solution techniques. The problem is solved in three stages: (i) A reduced visibility graph for a point object is obtained, (ii) The reduced visibility graph is converted into a feasible reduced visibility graph accounting for the size and kinematic constraints of the robot, (iii) The A * algorithm is used to search the feasible reduced visibility graph with the cost function being the time of travel, to obtain a safe, time-optimal, smooth path. The algorithm runs in polynomial time. The method has been tested in computer simulations and test results are presented.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)547-553
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1997


  • Car-like robot
  • Feasible visibility graph
  • Nonholonomic constraints
  • Time-optimal motion planning
  • Visibility graph


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