Learning Dynamic Obstacle Avoidance for a Robot Arm Using Neuroevolution (2009)
Neural networks can be evolved to control robot manipulators in tasks like target tracking and obstacle avoidance in complex environments. Neurocontrollers are robust to noise and can be adapted to different environments and robot configurations. In this paper, neurocontrollers were evolved to position the end effector of a robot arm close to a target in three different environments: environments without obstacles, environments with stationary obstacles, and environments with moving obstacles. The evolved neurocontrollers perform qualitatively like inverse kinematic controllers in environments with no obstacles and like path-planning controllers based on Rapidly-exploring Random Trees in environments with obstacles. Unlike inverse kinematic controllers and path planners, the approach reliably generalizes to environments with moving obstacles, making it possible to use it in natural environments.
Neural Processing Letters, 2009.

Thomas D'Silva Masters Alumni twdsilva [at] gmail com
Risto Miikkulainen Faculty risto [at] cs utexas edu