Spatial Planning: A Configuration Space Approach

Unknown author (1980-12-01)

This paper presents algorithms for computing constraints on the position of an object due to the presence of obstacles. This problem arises in applications which require choosing how to arrange or move objects among other objects. The basis of the approach presented here is to characterize the position and orientation of the object of interest as a single point in a Configuration Space, in which each coordinate represents a degree of freedom in the position and/or orientation of the object. The configurations forbidden to this object, due to the presence of obstacles, can then be characterized as regions in the Configuration Space. The paper presents algorithms for computing these Configuration Space obstacles when the objects and obstacles are polygons or polyhedra. An approximation technique for high-dimensional Configuration Space obstacles, based on projections of obstacles slices, is described.