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A snake-based scheme for path planning and control with constraints by distributed visual sensors

Cheng, Y.; Jiang, P.; Hu, Y. F.


Y. Cheng

P. Jiang

Y. F. Hu


This paper proposes a robot navigation scheme using wireless visual sensors deployed in an environment. Different from the conventional autonomous robot approaches, the scheme intends to relieve massive on-board information processing required by a robot to its environment so that a robot or a vehicle with less intelligence can exhibit sophisticated mobility. A three-state snake mechanism is developed for coordinating a series of sensors to form a reference path. Wireless visual sensors communicate internal forces with each other along the reference snake for dynamic adjustment, react to repulsive forces from obstacles, and activate a state change in the snake body from a flexible state to a rigid or even to a broken state due to kinematic or environmental constraints. A control snake is further proposed as a tracker of the reference path, taking into account the robot’s non-holonomic constraint and limited steering power. A predictive control algorithm is developed to have an optimal velocity profile under robot dynamic constraints for the snake tracking. They together form a unified solution for robot navigation by distributed sensors to deal with the kinematic and dynamic constraints of a robot and to react to dynamic changes in advance. Simulations and experiments demonstrate the capability of a wireless sensor network to carry out low-level control activities for a vehicle.


Cheng, Y., Jiang, P., & Hu, Y. F. (2014). A snake-based scheme for path planning and control with constraints by distributed visual sensors. Robotica, 32(4), 477-499.

Acceptance Date Jul 11, 2013
Online Publication Date Aug 9, 2013
Publication Date 2014-07
Deposit Date May 19, 2015
Publicly Available Date May 19, 2015
Journal Robotica
Print ISSN 0263-5747
Electronic ISSN 1469-8668
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 32
Issue 4
Pages 477-499
Keywords Snake algorithm; Wireless visual sensors; Mobile robot navigation; Distributed robot system
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Copy of article first published in: Robotica, 2014, v.32, issue 4.


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© Cambridge University Press 2013. The online version of this article is published within an Open Access environment subject to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence . The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use.

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