This paper describes a potential field approach to robot path planning into cavities defined by B-splines. It discusses existing methods, and describes the development of a Voronoi tree using intersecting hodographs. The Voronoi tree is similar to the Voronoi diagram in that it is maximally distant from all objects in the robot’s environment, but the Voronoi tree is developed for cavities modeled by splines. By adding a potential field to the robot manipulator, a robot path can be found by seeking the manipulator position with the minimum value of the potential function. This position as defined by the potential field is also maximally distant from cavity walls. Results with the potential field method are discussed and conclusions are drawn.

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