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Rallying a target in an environment strewn with obstacles by an experimental drone (pioneer 3AT of ActivMedia robotics).

This project has emerged in the research laboratories of the French Direction Générale de l’Armement under a research contract with investigators and engineers of VIMADES.

The problem was to drive a robot in an environment strewn with obstacles to reach a target. The dynamics of the robot are determined by its velocity and direction of the wheels. Viability algorithms provide the feedback to reach a target in finite time (and even, in minimum time) while avoiding obstacles.

The embedded PILOT software of VIMADES, combined with digital maps of the target and obstacles obtained by sensors, computes:

- The set of all the positions from which it is possible to reach the target in finite time while avoiding obstacles;
- The feedback that can drive the vehicle to reach the target knowing only the position and velocity of the vehicle at all times.

Reaching a target without obstacles on the course or avoiding obstacles without a guarantee to reach this target are problems for which various solutions have already been made. The PILOT software of VIMADES however is the only autonomous feedback driving a vehicle in an environment strewn with obstacles to achieve a target with guarantee in finite time.


The robot is going to its target. The environment is the road on which the robot has to stay. An obstacle is placed on the road. The robot has no sensors to see the border of its environment (the road), the obstacle or the target, but only an odometer and its position is recorded by GPS. The measures provided by the GPS are represented by the dotted line on the following scheme. They are not accurate and sometimes indicate positions outside of the environment. These errors are corrected automatically by the PILOT software. The figure displays also the route calculated by simulation (in green) which coincides with the real trajectory.


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