I would like to have a better understanding of work in the field of "Navigation Among Movable Obstacles". I started off with Michael Stilman's thesis under James Kuffner, but that has not yet sated my appetite.

I am currently trying to simulate a scenario where debris (Tables and Table parts) from a disaster scenario block pathways. The debris forms part of a movable obstacle. The robot which will be used is a bipedal humanoid.

The thesis describes an approach to define the search space of possible actions leading from the start point to the goal. However, it assumes a mobile robot which works via gliding.

I think the state space definitions would change for a bi-pedal robot. Why is why I wonder what other work is being done in this field. Perhaps the work of other research groups could give me clues as to how to design and perhaps reduce the search space for a bipedal humanoid robot.

An implementation of Navigation among Movable Obstacles would also aid me in understanding how to reduce the search space of possible actions.

So does anyone know of a working implementation of Navigation among movable obstacles?

Any supporting information about other professors or research groups working on similar problems would also be very useful.

I hope this edit is sufficient for the problem description.

  • $\begingroup$ This question seems to be rather broad and not too clear. Could you elaborate? $\endgroup$ Nov 20, 2012 at 6:51
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    $\begingroup$ Link to thesis added for reference $\endgroup$
    – Andrew
    Nov 20, 2012 at 7:17
  • $\begingroup$ Hi @Naresh, what are you wanting to achieve? At the moment, it's difficult to know where to start, other than regurgitate a PhD thesis :) $\endgroup$
    – Andrew
    Nov 20, 2012 at 7:18
  • $\begingroup$ Hi Naresh, welcome to Robotics. Whilst there is the makings of a good question here (possibly two 8') it needs a narrower scope and more details of what the problem you are trying to solve is. Could I suggest that you re-read the FAQ before asking your next question, in particular "You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page". Thanks. $\endgroup$
    – Mark Booth
    Nov 20, 2012 at 9:12
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    $\begingroup$ Naresh, Thanks for the additional information, it helps a great deal. I've tried to tidy it up a little and hope that this means we can get some of those down votes reversed for you. $\endgroup$
    – Mark Booth
    Nov 20, 2012 at 23:47

1 Answer 1


Speaking about navigation among moving obstacles, look at Jur van den Berg thesis. Also Lavalle provided a tutorial at ICRA12 http://msl.cs.uiuc.edu/~lavalle/icra12/ and the videos are here http://techtalks.tv/events/105/ but neither mention the problem of bipeds.


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