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This paper proposes a path planner for serial manipulators with large number of degrees of freedom, working in cluttered workspaces. Based on the variational principles, this approach involves formulating the path planning problem as constrained minimization of a functional representing the total joint move- ment over the complete path. We use modi ed boundary conditions at both ends of the trajectory to nd more suitable start and end con gurations. The concept of monotonic optimality is introduced in order to optimize the manipulator paths between the resulting end con gurations. For obstacle avoidance, volume and proximity based penalizing schemes are developed and used. The presented planner uses a global approach to search for feasible paths and at the same time involves no pre-processing task. A variety of test cases have been presented to establish the ecacy of the presented scheme in providing good quality paths. The extent of advantage accruing out of the measures of free end-con gurations and monotonic optimality are also analyzed quantitatively.

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Last update: 25/08/06