(this is a cross post from https://stackoverflow.com/q/64393373/2682209 as I didn't know the robotics community before.)

I'm trying to use some inverse kinematics algorithm to perform a path planning task. I take my path as a kinematic chain with joined segments and define the start and target. As the curvature of the path shall be restricted, the maximum bending angles at each joint must be limited.

Additionally, the orientation of the start segment as well as the orientation of the final segment shall be well defined within some tolerance margins.

I started out to implement the quite simple FABRIK algorithm (youtube resp. paper). I think, I also added the angular constraints respecting the inner joint angles correctly, but I fail in getting the fixed angles of the start- and the end-segment correct.

I started out with the kinematic chain unfolded in a curve like fashion, bridging the angular difference form start angle to target angle. From there on, I use the FABRIK algorithm and restrict it's joint bending to maintain the given limitations.
This way, the angular constraints are an invariant of the algorithm and are never violated during the run. In quite some settings, this works out OK.

Unfortunately however, this algorithm keeps running in deadlock situations it can't escape from like shown in this picture:
The upper panels shows the start configuration, the lower panel the situation after 18 iterations in a deadlock situation with no more progress. enter image description here
The purple path should take a turn from the left bubble to the right bubble entering the right bubble from the left to the right (like sketched in red).

This behavior must be due to the fact, that the head-segment (the last before the target) must not turn round, as it must maintain the target angular constraint invariant all the time.

any idea, how to overcome this issue and how to do inverse kinematics with no only postional, but also orientational target values.



  • $\begingroup$ do I understand correctly, that you are mis-using the Fabrik inverse kinematics algorithm to plan your path? You put the robot start point in the path start point, the robot end point in the path endpoint and the robot configuration obtained will become your path? Essentially treating the robot kinematics structure as constraints on your path? $\endgroup$
    – 50k4
    Oct 19 '20 at 7:50
  • $\begingroup$ @50k4: It's kind of how you describe it: I plan paths for airplanes and I treat the entire path as a kinematic chain of segments to lead form a certain start-point to a certain end-point. As anairplane cannot turn instantaneosly, I put the angular constraints at the joints between the segments. (I hope I can get smoother paths like with conventional Dubins paths, as these exhibit discontinuities which bite me badly.) $\endgroup$
    – opt12
    Oct 19 '20 at 11:57

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