Neural Network Dynamics for Path Planning and Obstacle Avoidance
A model of a topologically organized neural network of a Hopfield type with nonlinear analog neurons is shown to be very effective for path planning and obstacle avoidance. This deterministic system can rapidly provide a proper path, from any arbitrary start position to any target position, avoiding both static and moving obstacles of arbitrary shape. The model assumes that an (external) input activates a target neuron, corresponding to the target position, and specifies obstacles in the topologically ordered neural map. The path follows from the neural network dynamics and the neural activity gradient in the topologically ordered map. The analytical results are supported by computer simulations to illustrate the performance of the network.