Mid-air motion planning of floating robot using heat flow method

Yinai Fan, Shenyu Liu, Mohamed Ali Belabbas

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


We address in this paper the problem of planning motion of free floating robot. Due to the conservation of angular and linear momentum during the in-air motion, the problem is two-fold: one needs to design, in addition to the in-air motion, the initial impulse that imparts the robot with the appropriate momentum to perform a desired motion. We propose in this paper a new method to address this problem. The method is a homotopy method which deforms an arbitrary path connecting the desired initial and final states to a feasible trajectory between these states, that is a trajectory that meets the system's dynamics and constraints. From this trajectory, the method extracts both the controls and initial momentum needed to perform the motion. We illustrate the method by designing somersault motions for a diver robot.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-24
Number of pages6
Issue number22
StatePublished - Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event1st IFAC Workshop on Robot Control, WROCO 2019 - Daejeon, Korea, Republic of
Duration: Sep 18 2019Sep 20 2019


  • Affine system with drift
  • Conservation of angular momentum
  • Free floating robot
  • Geometric control methods
  • Motion planning
  • Nonholonomic constraints
  • Underactuated system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Mid-air motion planning of floating robot using heat flow method'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this