Motion Planning in Virtual Environments
Due to the strike, various submission dates have changed. The new dates are marked by "(notice new date)" .
The assignment in this workshop is to plan a collision free motion for moving bodies (robots) in an environment cluttered with obstacles. The major platform will be SecondLife, which is one of the first programmable Metaverse platforms. Several problems will be proposed as well as different solution approaches.
Robot getting out of a maze
Hover (flying) chair
Snake (multi-link) robots; follow-me dog
More projects will be proposed in class. Students are encouraged to propose their own projects.
As you will find out when you log into SecondLife (which is
free of charge for limited actions), it can be a
fascinating and varied experience. Also, there is quite a
lot that one can do with the local scripting language SL.
However, SL, which must be run on SecondLife's servers, may
not be as strong as needed to develop some sophisticated
motion-planning (and other) algorithms. Indeed, in class we
will demonstrate how to communicate between an SL object
and the outside world, where, for example, you can run a
You should be aware of the fact that this solution is far from ideal, and there are many technical difficulties with this solution as well as with working with SecondLife in general (just now, at the time of writing this text, the SecondLife servers are down). Our brief experience is that the system is not completely stable nor very well documented. You need to take into account that alongside the exciting options that SecondLife offers, it can be rather painful to work with. In class we will review various pitfalls and shortcomings of the system.
If you prefer to focus on the algorithmics of motion planning, we will offer alternative, more stable, working environments. At the other end of the spectrum from SecondLife, you may opt for developing your own GUI with the simplest graphics.
Recommended team size: 3 students.
The submission of the project is in three steps:
Meetings during the semester (preliminary list, stay tuned):
26/2/2007: Overview of the workshop (D.H. + Y.S.)
5/3: A brief introduction to motion planning (D.H.)
Basics of motion planning, ppt slides.
For more background on solving translational motion planning in the plane (the maze solver), see Chapter 13 of the following book: M. de Berg, M. van Kreveld, M. Overmars, and O. Schwarzkopf, Computational Geometry: Algorithms and Applications , 2nd Edition, Springer, 2000.
A warm-up exercise.
12/3: Programming in SL, a primer (A.S.)
19/3: Programming in SL, continued (A.S.)
26/3: A survey of possible projects (D.H. + Y.S.)
16/4: Discussion of projects (cancelled, student strike)
... strike ...
28/5 (notice new date) : Project proposals: presentations by students