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A cooperation approach with consideration of communication limit is proposed for multi-robot area exploration, in which all the robots select local destinations satisfying the constraints on communication range and reach their destinations at the same time to communicate and fuse their map information. Firstly, the robots compute the frontier between the explored region and the unexplored one. The robots choose the optimal frontier points, which maximize information gain, minimize navigation cost and satisfy communication limit as their local destinations. Then the problem of global exploration in unknown environment is converted into that of multi-stage trajectory planning in local known environment. Collision-free, synchronous and separate trajectories are planned for all the robots to realize the limited communication at their destinations. In such a way, efficient and distributed exploration can be achieved. Simulation results are presented to show the effectiveness of our method.
Date of Conference: 18-22 Oct. 2010