Approximating Robot Configuration Spaces with few Convex Sets using Clique Covers of Visibility Graphs


Many computations in robotics can be dramatically accelerated if the robot configuration space is described as a collection of simple sets. For example, recently developed motion planners rely on a convex decomposition of the free space to design collision-free trajectories using fast convex optimization. In this work, we present an efficient method for approximately covering complex configuration spaces with a small number of polytopes. The approach constructs a visibility graph using sampling and generates a clique cover of this graph to find clusters of samples that have mutual line of sight. These clusters are then inflated into large, full-dimensional, polytopes. We evaluate our method on a variety of robotic systems and show that it consistently covers larger portions of free configuration space, with fewer polytopes, and in a fraction of the time compared to previous methods.