Author

# Ian R. Manchester

Other affiliations: Umeå University, University of New South Wales, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Bio: Ian R. Manchester is an academic researcher from University of Sydney. The author has contributed to research in topics: Nonlinear system & Convex optimization. The author has an hindex of 26, co-authored 169 publications receiving 3077 citations. Previous affiliations of Ian R. Manchester include Umeå University & University of New South Wales.

##### Papers published on a yearly basis

##### Papers

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TL;DR: A feedback motion-planning algorithm which uses rigorously computed stability regions to build a sparse tree of LQR-stabilized trajectories and proves the property of probabilistic coverage.

Abstract: Advances in the direct computation of Lyapunov functions using convex optimization make it possible to efficiently evaluate regions of attraction for smooth non-linear systems. Here we present a feedback motion-planning algorithm which uses rigorously computed stability regions to build a sparse tree of LQR-stabilized trajectories. The region of attraction of this non-linear feedback policy âprobabilistically coversâ the entire controllable subset of state space, verifying that all initial conditions that are capable of reaching the goal will reach the goal. We numerically investigate the properties of this systematic non-linear feedback design algorithm on simple non-linear systems, prove the property of probabilistic coverage, and discuss extensions and implementation details of the basic algorithm.

471 citations

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TL;DR: A constructive control design for stabilization of non-periodic trajectories of underactuated robots, using a transverse linearization about the desired motion and providing exponential orbital stability of the target trajectory of the original nonlinear system.

Abstract: We propose a constructive control design for stabilization of non-periodic trajectories of underactuated robots. An important example of such a system is an underactuated âdynamic walkingâ biped robot traversing rough or uneven terrain. The stabilization problem is inherently challenging due to the nonlinearity, open-loop instability, hybrid (impact) dynamics, and target motions which are not known in advance. The proposed technique is to compute a transverse linearization about the desired motion: a linear impulsive system which locally represents âtransversalâ dynamics about a target trajectory. This system is then exponentially stabilized using a modified receding-horizon control design, providing exponential orbital stability of the target trajectory of the original nonlinear system. The proposed method is experimentally verified using a compass-gait walker: a two-degree-of-freedom biped with hip actuation but pointed stilt-like feet. The technique is, however, very general and can be applied to a wide variety of hybrid nonlinear systems.

225 citations

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TL;DR: In this paper, the authors introduce the concept of a control contraction metric, extending contraction analysis to constructive nonlinear control design, and derive sufficient conditions for exponential stabilizability of all trajectories of a non-linear control system.

Abstract: We introduce the concept of a control contraction metric, extending contraction analysis to constructive nonlinear control design. We derive sufficient conditions for exponential stabilizability of all trajectories of a nonlinear control system. The conditions have a simple geometrical interpretation, can be written as a convex feasibility problem, and are invariant under coordinate changes. We show that these conditions are necessary and sufficient for feedback linearizable systems and also derive novel convex criteria for exponential stabilization of a nonlinear submanifold of state space. We illustrate the benefits of convexity by constructing a controller for an unstable polynomial system that combines local optimality and global stability, using a metric found via sum-of-squares programming.

153 citations

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TL;DR: In this article, a new precision guidance law with impact angle constraint for a two-dimensional planar intercept is presented, based on the principle of following a circular arc to the target, hence the name circular navigation guidance.

Abstract: A new precision guidance law with impact angle constraint for a two-dimensional planar intercept is presented. It is based on the principle of following a circular arc to the target, hence the name circular navigation guidance. The guidance law does not require range-to-target information. We prove that it attains a perfect intercept under certain ideal conditions. In a broader range of conditions, it is shown to perform favorably when compared to another law from the literature.

139 citations

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TL;DR: A motion planning algorithm is described for bounding over rough terrain with the LittleDog robot, and a feedback controller based on transverse linearization was implemented, and shown in simulation to stabilize perturbations in the presence of noise and time delays.

Abstract: A motion planning algorithm is described for bounding over rough terrain with the LittleDog robot. Unlike walking gaits, bounding is highly dynamic and cannot be planned with quasi-steady approximations. LittleDog is modeled as a planar five-link system, with a 16-dimensional state space; computing a plan over rough terrain in this high-dimensional state space that respects the kinodynamic constraints due to underactuation and motor limits is extremely challenging. Rapidly Exploring Random Trees (RRTs) are known for fast kinematic path planning in high-dimensional configuration spaces in the presence of obstacles, but search efficiency degrades rapidly with the addition of challenging dynamics. A computationally tractable planner for bounding was developed by modifying the RRT algorithm by using: (1) motion primitives to reduce the dimensionality of the problem; (2) Reachability Guidance, which dynamically changes the sampling distribution and distance metric to address differential constraints and discontinuous motion primitive dynamics; and (3) sampling with a Voronoi bias in a lower-dimensional âtask spaceâ for bounding. Short trajectories were demonstrated to work on the robot, however open-loop bounding is inherently unstable. A feedback controller based on transverse linearization was implemented, and shown in simulation to stabilize perturbations in the presence of noise and time delays.

136 citations

##### Cited by

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TL;DR: There is, I think, something ethereal about i —the square root of minus one, which seems an odd beast at that time—an intruder hovering on the edge of reality.

Abstract: There is, I think, something ethereal about i —the square root of minus one. I remember first hearing about it at school. It seemed an odd beast at that time—an intruder hovering on the edge of reality.
Usually familiarity dulls this sense of the bizarre, but in the case of i it was the reverse: over the years the sense of its surreal nature intensified. It seemed that it was impossible to write mathematics that described the real world in …

33,785 citations

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TL;DR: In this paper, the authors studied the asymptotic behavior of the cost of the solution returned by stochastic sampling-based path planning algorithms as the number of samples increases.

Abstract: During the last decade, sampling-based path planning algorithms, such as probabilistic roadmaps (PRM) and rapidly exploring random trees (RRT), have been shown to work well in practice and possess theoretical guarantees such as probabilistic completeness. However, little effort has been devoted to the formal analysis of the quality of the solution returned by such algorithms, e.g. as a function of the number of samples. The purpose of this paper is to fill this gap, by rigorously analyzing the asymptotic behavior of the cost of the solution returned by stochastic sampling-based algorithms as the number of samples increases. A number of negative results are provided, characterizing existing algorithms, e.g. showing that, under mild technical conditions, the cost of the solution returned by broadly used sampling-based algorithms converges almost surely to a non-optimal value. The main contribution of the paper is the introduction of new algorithms, namely, PRM* and RRT*, which are provably asymptotically optimal, i.e. such that the cost of the returned solution converges almost surely to the optimum. Moreover, it is shown that the computational complexity of the new algorithms is within a constant factor of that of their probabilistically complete (but not asymptotically optimal) counterparts. The analysis in this paper hinges on novel connections between stochastic sampling-based path planning algorithms and the theory of random geometric graphs.

3,438 citations

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TL;DR: This article attempts to strengthen the links between the two research communities by providing a survey of work in reinforcement learning for behavior generation in robots by highlighting both key challenges in robot reinforcement learning as well as notable successes.

Abstract: Reinforcement learning offers to robotics a framework and set of tools for the design of sophisticated and hard-to-engineer behaviors. Conversely, the challenges of robotic problems provide both inspiration, impact, and validation for developments in reinforcement learning. The relationship between disciplines has sufficient promise to be likened to that between physics and mathematics. In this article, we attempt to strengthen the links between the two research communities by providing a survey of work in reinforcement learning for behavior generation in robots. We highlight both key challenges in robot reinforcement learning as well as notable successes. We discuss how contributions tamed the complexity of the domain and study the role of algorithms, representations, and prior knowledge in achieving these successes. As a result, a particular focus of our paper lies on the choice between model-based and model-free as well as between value-function-based and policy-search methods. By analyzing a simple problem in some detail we demonstrate how reinforcement learning approaches may be profitably applied, and we note throughout open questions and the tremendous potential for future research.

2,391 citations

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TL;DR: The main contribution of the paper is the introduction of new algorithms, namely, PRM and RRT*, which are provably asymptotically optimal, i.e. such that the cost of the returned solution converges almost surely to the optimum.

Abstract: During the last decade, sampling-based path planning algorithms, such as Probabilistic RoadMaps (PRM) and Rapidly-exploring Random Trees (RRT), have been shown to work well in practice and possess theoretical guarantees such as probabilistic completeness. However, little effort has been devoted to the formal analysis of the quality of the solution returned by such algorithms, e.g., as a function of the number of samples. The purpose of this paper is to fill this gap, by rigorously analyzing the asymptotic behavior of the cost of the solution returned by stochastic sampling-based algorithms as the number of samples increases. A number of negative results are provided, characterizing existing algorithms, e.g., showing that, under mild technical conditions, the cost of the solution returned by broadly used sampling-based algorithms converges almost surely to a non-optimal value. The main contribution of the paper is the introduction of new algorithms, namely, PRM* and RRT*, which are provably asymptotically optimal, i.e., such that the cost of the returned solution converges almost surely to the optimum. Moreover, it is shown that the computational complexity of the new algorithms is within a constant factor of that of their probabilistically complete (but not asymptotically optimal) counterparts. The analysis in this paper hinges on novel connections between stochastic sampling-based path planning algorithms and the theory of random geometric graphs.

2,210 citations

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TL;DR: A scheme is developed for classifying the types of motion perceived by a humanlike robot and equations, theorems, concepts, clues, etc., relating the objects, their positions, and their motion to their images on the focal plane are presented.

Abstract: A scheme is developed for classifying the types of motion perceived by a humanlike robot. It is assumed that the robot receives visual images of the scene using a perspective system model. Equations, theorems, concepts, clues, etc., relating the objects, their positions, and their motion to their images on the focal plane are presented. >

2,000 citations