Path smoothing techniques in robot navigation: State-of-the-art, current and future challenges

Abhijeet Ravankar, Ankit A. Ravankar, Yukinori Kobayashi, Yohei Hoshino, Chao Chung Peng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

101 Citations (Scopus)


Robot navigation is an indispensable component of any mobile service robot. Many path planning algorithms generate a path which has many sharp or angular turns. Such paths are not fit for mobile robot as it has to slow down at these sharp turns. These robots could be carrying delicate, dangerous, or precious items and executing these sharp turns may not be feasible kinematically. On the contrary, smooth trajectories are often desired for robot motion and must be generated while considering the static and dynamic obstacles and other constraints like feasible curvature, robot and lane dimensions, and speed. The aim of this paper is to succinctly summarize and review the path smoothing techniques in robot navigation and discuss the challenges and future trends. Both autonomous mobile robots and autonomous vehicles (outdoor robots or self-driving cars) are discussed. The state-of-the-art algorithms are broadly classified into different categories and each approach is introduced briefly with necessary background, merits, and drawbacks. Finally, the paper discusses the current and future challenges in optimal trajectory generation and smoothing research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3170
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sep 19

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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