A controllability test and motion planning primitives for overconstrained vehicles

T. D. Murphey*, J. W. Burdick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Conventional nonholonomic motion planning and control theories do not directly apply to "overconstrained vehicles," such as the Sojourner vehicle of the Mars Pathfinder mission. This paper discusses some basic issues of motion planning and control for this potentially important class of mobile robots. A power dissipation approach is used to model the governing equations of overconstrained vehicles that move quasi-statically. These equations are shown to be switched hybrid systems. Notions from standard geometric control, such as the Lie bracket, are extended to these switched systems. We then develop a controllability test for such systems. We explore motion planning primitives in the context of simplified examples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2716-2722
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001


  • Controllability
  • Motion planning
  • Overconstrained wheeled vehicles
  • Switched systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering


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