An Incremental Constraint-Based Framework for Task and Motion Planning

N. T. Dantam, Z. K. Kingston, S. Chaudhuri, and L. E. Kavraki, “An Incremental Constraint-Based Framework for Task and Motion Planning,” International Journal of Robotics Research, vol. 37, no. 10, pp. 1134-1151. (Invited Article), 2018.


We present a new constraint-based framework for task and motion planning (TMP). Our approach is extensible, probabilistically-complete, and offers improved performance and generality compared to a similar, state-of-the-art planner. The key idea is to leverage incremental constraint solving to efficiently incorporate geometric information at the task level. Using motion feasibility information to guide task planning improves scalability of the overall planner. Our key abstractions address the requirements of manipulation and object rearrangement. We validate our approach on a physical manipulator and evaluate scalability on scenarios with many objects and long plans, showing order-of-magnitude gains compared to the benchmark planner and improved scalability from additional geometric guidance. Finally, in addition to describing a new method for TMP and its implementation on a physical robot, we also put forward requirements and abstractions for the development of similar planners in the future.


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