Graphically simulated “configuration maps” are used to plan manipulator paths in two-dimensions. Configuration maps represent a transformation of the Cartesian workspace into the manipulator joint coordinates, identifying both the free space and the space occupied by obstacles. Visual examination of the configuration map allows simulation users to plan collision-free paths by maneuvering the manipulators “point” along a series of path line segments which connect starting and final manipulator configurations. A PUMA 600 revolute manipulator experimentally verifies one such path planned through a congested workspace.

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