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The present paper develops a novel strategy for the exploration of an unknown environment with a multi-robot system. It is required that the entire free space is covered by the sensors of the robots, with a certainty of 100%. Communication between the robots is restricted to line-of-sight and to a maximum interdistance between robots. Contrary to most exploration problems, the topographical properties of the space need not be mapped. An algorithm is presented that guides a group of N robots, scanning the free space for target objects. The group splits to pass obstacles of unknown size and shape. The decision of splitting the group takes a trade-off between group coherence and speed of advancing into account. A direct application of the algorithm is mine held clearance.
Date of Conference: 1-3 Oct. 2007