Intensity-based navigation with global guarantees

Kamilah Taylor, Steven M. LaValle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article introduces simple, information-feedback plans that guide a robot through an unknown obstacle course using the sensed information from a single intensity source. The framework is similar to the well-known family of bug algorithms; however, our plans require less sensing information than any others. The robot is unable to access precise information regarding position coordinates, angular coordinates, time, or odometry, but is nevertheless able to navigate itself to a goal among unknown piecewise-analytic obstacles in the plane. The only sensor providing real values is an intensity sensor, which measures the signal strength emanating from the goal. The signal intensity function may or may not be symmetric; the main requirement is that the level sets are concentric images of simple closed curves. Convergence analysis and distance bounds are established for the presented plans. Furthermore, they are experimentally demonstrated using a differential drive robot and an infrared beacon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-364
Number of pages16
JournalAutonomous Robots
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence


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