Journal of East China Normal University(Natural Science) ›› 2022, Vol. 2022 ›› Issue (6): 54-67.doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1000-5641.2022.06.007

• Computer Science • Previous Articles     Next Articles

3D obstacle-avoidance for a unmanned aerial vehicle based on the improved artificial potential field method

Lanfeng ZHOU(), Mingyue KONG   

  1. School of Computer Science and Information Engineering, Shanghai Institute of Technology, Shanghai 201418, China
  • Received:2021-08-24 Online:2022-11-25 Published:2022-11-22


This paper aims to address the challenge of seeking an optimal safe path for a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) from an initial position to a target position, while avoiding all obstacles in a three-dimensional environment. An improved APF (artificial potential field) method combined with the regular hexagon guidance method is proposed to solve unreachable and local minimum problems near obstacles as observed with traditional artificial potential field methods. First, we add a distance correction factor to the repulsive potential field function to solve problems associated with unreachable targets. Then, a regular hexagon-guided method is proposed to improve the local minimum problem. This method can judge the environment when the UAV is trapped in a local minimum point or trap area and select the appropriate planning method to guide the UAV to escape from the local minimum area. Then, 3D modeling and simulation were carried out via Matlab, taking into account a variety of scenes involving complex obstacles. The results show that this method has good feasibility and effectiveness in real-time path planning of UAVs. Lastly, we demonstrate the performance of the proposed method in a real environment, and the experimental results show that the proposed method can effectively avoid obstacles and find the optimal path.

Key words: unmanned aerial vehicle, obstacle avoidance, three-dimensional environment, artificial potential field method, local minimum

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