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BeeSoft User's Guide and Reference

11.2 Autonomous Goal-Directed Planning

To set a goal point, point your mouse at a location within the plan window and click the left mouse button. It will show up as a yellow spot. You can set multiple goal points, if you wish. The robot proceeds towards your goal point(s).

To remove a goal point at any time, just point to it on the map and click the left mouse button.

As your robot travels along, globally navigating; detecting, avoiding and recording the locations of obstacles; planning minimum cost paths as it heads towards its goal point, you’ll want tokeep up with its progress, as displayed in the plan window. To update the display at any time, click your left mouse button on the control button labeled map. As the robot explores and maps, be sure to update the display often.

To stop the robot’s motion and exit the BeeSoft Planner, click your left mouse button on the box labeled quit.

To start to get an intuitive feel of the decisions the robot is making, and why, click your left mouse button on these control buttons:

costs: This shows you a map-like display of the cost, or difficulty, of taking a particular path. Black, or occupied areas, have a high cost; white, or free, areas have a low cost. You’ll see that the shortest or straightest path is not always the optimal, or minimum cost path.
utility: This shows the cumulative costs to the nearest unexplored area. It measures the distance to the nearest goal, taking into consideration the costs of reaching it. Once the costs are calculated, the robot moves towards the location with the smallest cost, and keeps going in this manner, incrementally, until it reaches the goal. The robot follows a "greedy" algorithm, trying to reach territory with maximum reward. White, or free areas, offer maximum reward; black, or occupied areas, offer the minimum reward.

Click your left mouse button on the button labeled new plan. The BeeSoft Planner will compute the shortest path to the nearest goal point and displays that path in the plan window.

As the robot explores, it is continuously updating its plan, its estimate of the best, or minimum cost, maximum reward path to the next goal point, or the next unexplored area. You’ll see these paths represented superimposed on the map in these colors:

aqua: the minimum cost path to the next unexplored area.
blue : indicates the first action the robot will take along this path.
red: indicates the path with maximized clearance. This is often extremely close to blue, and often hidden under the blue line.

pink: represents a possible collision point.

The BeeSoft Planner deletes each incremental goal point as it is reached.

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