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First off, you might want to take a look at the dwa_local_planner as it implements DWA with the added perk of having dynamic_reconfigure built in. This might make tuning the planner for your needs a lot easier than dealing with the trajectory planner.

Now to answer your questions:

  • The dwa_local_planner allows you to set min and max velocities in both the x and y dimensions independently. The TrajectoryPlannerROS only allows for setting a min and max x velocity. For y (or strafing) velocities, it takes a list of admissible velocities to simulate. This might be another reason for you to give the dwa_local_planner a shot.

  • A couple of milliseconds will probably be OK as far as performance is concerned.

  • Strafing just means moving sideways, meaning there's a non-zero y velocity.