Motion Planning in Dynamic Environments Using Context-Aware Human Trajectory Prediction

Recommended citation: Mark Nicholas Finean, Luka Petrović, Wolfgang Merkt, Ivan Marković, and Ioannis Havoutis. Motion Planning in Dynamic Environments Using Context-Aware Human Trajectory Prediction. Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 2023.

Over the years, the separate fields of motion planning, mapping, and human trajectory prediction have advanced considerably. However, the literature is still sparse in providing practical frameworks that enable mobile manipulators to perform whole-body movements and account for the predicted motion of moving obstacles. Previous optimisation-based motion planning approaches that use distance fields have suffered from the high computational cost required to update the environment representation. We demonstrate that GPU-accelerated predicted composite distance fields significantly reduce the computation time compared to calculating distance fields from scratch. We integrate this technique with a complete motion planning and perception framework that accounts for the predicted motion of humans in dynamic environments, enabling reactive and pre-emptive motion planning that incorporates predicted motions. To achieve this, we propose and implement a novel human trajectory prediction method that combines intention recognition with trajectory optimisation-based motion planning. We validate our resultant framework on a real-world Toyota Human Support Robot (HSR) using live RGB-D sensor data from the onboard camera. In addition to providing analysis on a publicly available dataset, we release the Oxford Indoor Human Motion (Oxford-IHM) dataset and demonstrate state-of-the-art performance in human trajectory prediction. The Oxford-IHM dataset is a human trajectory prediction dataset in which people walk between regions of interest in an indoor environment. Both static and robot-mounted RGB-D cameras observe the people while tracked with a motion-capture system.

[ pdf] [ video] [ code] [ DOI: 10.1016/j.robot.2023.104450] [ arXiv]

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