A search algorithm for the collision free, time optimal transport path of overhead cranes has been proposed in this paper. The map for the working environment of overhead cranes was constructed in the form of three dimensional grid. The obstacle occupied region and unoccupied region of the map has been represented using the octree model. The best-first search method with a suitable estimation function was applied to select the knot points on the collision free transport path to the octree model. The optimization technique, minimizing the travel time required for transporting objects to the goal while subjected to the dynamic constraints of the crane system, was developed to find the smooth time optimal path in the form of cubic spline functions which interpolate the selected knot points. Several simulation results showed that the selected estimation function worked effectively insearching the knot points on the collision free transport path and that the resulting transport path was time optimal path while satisfying the dynamic constraints of the crane system.
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