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The problem of perimeter detection and monitoring has a variety of applications. In this paper, a hybrid system of finite states is proposed for multiple autonomous robotic agents with the purpose of hazardous spill perimeter detection and tracking. In the system, each robotic agent is assumed to be in one of three states: searching, pursuing, and tracking. The agents are prioritized based on their states, and a potential field is constructed for agents in each state. For an agent in the tracking state, the agent's location and velocity as well as those of its closest leading and trailing agents are utilized to control its movement. The convergence of the tracking algorithm is analyzed for multiple spills under certain conditions. Simulation and experiment results show that with the proposed method, the agents can successfully detect and track the spills of various shapes, sizes, and movements.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2013