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This paper studies a distributed path-planning problem: How can a sensor network help navigate a nontrial robot to its desired goal in a distributed manner? We consider the case where each sensor node is equipped with sophisticated sensors capable of giving a map for its sensing region. We propose a distributed sampling-based planning algorithm, where every sensor node creates a local roadmap in its locally sensed environment; these local roadmaps are “stitched” together by passing messages among nodes and forming a larger implicit roadmap without having a global representation. Based on the implicit roadmap, a feasible path is computed in a distributed manner, and the robot moves along the path by interacting with sensor nodes, each of which giving a portion of the path within the local environment of the node. Simulations show that the algorithm is able to solve the path-planning problem with low communication overhead.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2011