Progressive Learning for Physics-informed Neural Motion Planning

Ruiqi Ni
Purdue University
Ahmed H Qureshi
Purdue University
Paper Website

Paper ID 63

Session 8. Robot Planning

Poster Session Wednesday, July 12

Poster 31

Abstract: Motion planning (MP) is one of the core robotics problems requiring fast methods for finding a collision-free robot motion path connecting the given start and goal states. Neural motion planners (NMPs) demonstrate fast computational speed in finding path solutions but require a huge amount of expert trajectories for learning, thus adding a significant training computational load. In contrast, recent advancements have also led to a physics-informed NMP approach that directly solves the Eikonal equation for motion planning and does not require expert demonstrations for learning. However, experiments show that the physics-informed NMP approach performs poorly in complex environments and lacks scalability in multiple scenarios and high-dimensional real robot settings. To overcome these limitations, this paper presents a novel and tractable Eikonal equation formulation and introduces a new progressive learning strategy to train neural networks without expert data in complex, cluttered, multiple high-dimensional robot motion planning scenarios. The results demonstrate that our method outperforms state-of-the-art traditional MP, data-driven NMP, and physics-informed NMP methods by a significant margin in terms of computational planning speed, path quality, and success rates. We also show that our approach scales to multiple complex, cluttered scenarios and the real robot set up in a narrow passage environment. The proposed method’s videos and code implementations are available at