Robot Navigation in Complex Workspaces Employing Harmonic Maps and Adaptive Artificial Potential Fields

Panagiotis Vlantis, Charalampos P. Bechlioulis, Kostas J. Kyriakopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this work, we address the single robot navigation problem within a planar and arbitrarily connected workspace. In particular, we present an algorithm that transforms any static, compact, planar workspace of arbitrary connectedness and shape to a disk, where the navigation problem can be easily solved. Our solution benefits from the fact that it only requires a fine representation of the workspace boundary (i.e., a set of points), which is easily obtained in practice via SLAM. The proposed transformation, combined with a workspace decomposition strategy that reduces the computational complexity, has been exhaustively tested and has shown excellent performance in complex workspaces. A motion control scheme is also provided for the class of non-holonomic robots with unicycle kinematics, which are commonly used in most industrial applications. Moreover, the tuning of the underlying control parameters is rather straightforward as it affects only the shape of the resulted trajectories and not the critical specifications of collision avoidance and convergence to the goal position. Finally, we validate the efficacy of the proposed navigation strategy via extensive simulations and experimental studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4464
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 2023


  • artificial potential fields
  • autonomous vehicle navigation
  • collision avoidance
  • motion and path planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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