Path planning with Pythagorean-hodograph curves for unmanned or autonomous vehicles
- Author(s): Farouki, RT
- Giannelli, C
- Mugnaini, D
- Sestini, A
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1177/0954410017690550
Pythagorean-hodograph (PH) curves offer distinct advantages in planning curvilinear paths for unmanned or autonomous air, ground, or underwater vehicles. Although several authors have discussed their use in these contexts, prior studies contain misconceptions about the properties of PH curves or invoke heuristic approximate constructions when exact methods are available. To address these issues, the present study provides a basic introduction to the key properties of PH curves, and describes some exact constructions of particular interest in path planning. These include (a) maintenance of minimum safe separations within vehicle swarms; (b) construction of paths of different shape but identical arc length, ensuring simultaneous arrival of vehicles travelling at a constant speed; (c) determination of the curvature extrema of PH paths, and their modification to satisfy a given curvature bound; and (d) construction of curvature-continuous paths of bounded curvature through fields of polygonal obstacles.