Title: 3D Path Planning with Continuous Bounded Curvature and Pitch Angle Profiles Using 7th Order Curves

Authors: Armando Alves Neto, Douglas G. Macharet, Mario F. M. Campos

Abstract: Path planning is a fundamental task for any kind of autonomous mobile robot. In this paper, we present a motion planning technique on the three-dimensional space considering vehicles with spatial curvature and pitch (climb or dive) angle constraints. Concerning real fixed-wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or underwater Remotely Operated Vehicles, we face the problem of calculating paths with continuous acceleration profiles, preventing the robot from abrupt turning or climbing/diving rates during its navigation. We also focus on the generation of paths with reduced length, allowing energy savings and minimizing the time for the task fulfillments. The proposed methodology provides, in a fast and iterative way, near-optimal paths in some scenarios, but with the advantage of continuous curvature and pitch rate profiles, a fundamental issue regarding the dynamics of real-world robots. The methodology was validated through numerous trials, under different scenarios in a simulated environment, and the results compared to the ones obtained by state-of-the-art techniques, providing a thorough evaluation .