Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Optimization in Robotics and Biomechanics

Workshop at IEEE Humanoids 2012 - Generating Optimal Paths in Humanoid and Industrial Robotics


The workshop is organized within the European FP7 project ECHORD-GOP (Generating Optimal Paths) and the newly founded IEEE RAS Technical Committee Model-based Optimization for Robotics. 

Time and Place:

Workshop Program (download here)


Humanoid and industrial robots are required to perform motions in more and more complex and constantly changing environments. The generation of the best possible robot motion that does not violate any constraints imposed by the environment is a challenging and important problem in both humanoid and industrial robotics. There are two different algorithmic approaches that both address this problem from different perspectives, namely path planning and numerical optimal control. Path planning is mainly interested in the determination of a feasible path in very complex environments based on geometric and kinematic models. Numerical optimal control techniques are capable to generate optimal trajectories for robot manipulators or humanoid robots taking into account the dynamics; however the treatment of a large number of environmental constraints giving rise to many local minima makes the problems very hard, if not impossible, to solve. The goal of this workshop is to gather researchers working in path planning with researchers working in optimal control, in order to give an overview of the state of the art and to discuss the issues related to combining algorithms from both fields.


  • Efficient numerical algorithms for optimal control and path planning

  •  Algorithmic approaches and software frameworks to combine them

  • Handling different types of constraints: robot dynamics, complex obstacle dynamic as well as time varying constraints imposed by the environment

  • Applications of optimal control and path planning in humanoid robotics: walking, grasping, manipulation, ...

  • Other interesting robotic applications

  • Modeling robots and their environment in the context of optimal control and path planning

  • Online optimization 

Workshop speakers and talk titles

  • James Kuffner, CMU & Google, USA: Computational tradeoffs inherent to high-dimensional search:  finding feasible paths versus optimal trajectories for humanoids

  • Abderrahmane Kheddar, CNRS / AIST Tsukuba, Japan: Handling some constraints in optimization planning in humanoid robots

  • Kensuke Harada, AIST Tsukuba, Japan: Pick and Place Planning for Dual-arm Manipulators

  • Serena Ivaldi. ISIR Paris, France: Optimal control for "humans to humanoids" transfer

  • Mike Stilman, Georgia Tech, USA Optimal Motion Generation: From Whole-Body Control to Path Tracking

  • Chris Atkeson, CMU, USA: Combining motion planning and optimal control for a biped

  • Francesco Nori, IIT, Genova, Italy: Stochastic optimal control for planning movements with Variable Impedance Actuators

  • Nicolas Perrin, IIT, Genova, Italy: Path and control optimization for compliant walking robots

  • Quang-Cuong Pham, University of Tokyo, Japan: Time-optimal trajectory planning under dynamic constraints - old algorithm, new applications

  • Adrien Escande, AIST Tsukuba, Japan: Hierarchical Quadratic Programming 

  • Jean-Paul Laumond, LAAS-CNRS, France: Generating optimal paths for the humanoid robot HRP-2

  • Katja Mombaur, University of Heidelberg, Germany: Generation of optimal robot motions with complex dynamic constraints

    Talk abstracts (download here)

K. Mombaur,
Last Update: 04.12.2012 - 09:02

The photographs in the header of this webpage have been taken at the Musee de l'Automate in Souillac, France