Strategies for coordinated multirobot exploration with recurrent connectivity constraints

Jacopo Banfi, Alberto Quattrini Li, Ioannis Rekleitis, Francesco Amigoni, Nicola Basilico
Autonomous Robots
July 2017
[23 citations]


Abstract: During several applications, such as search andrescue, robots must discover new information about the envi-ronment and, at the same time, share operational knowledgewith a base station through an ad hoc network. In this paper,we design exploration strategies that allow robots to coor-dinate with teammates to form such a network in order tosatisfy recurrent connectivity constraints—that is, data mustbe shared with the base station when making new observa-tions at the assigned locations. Current approaches lack inflexibility due to the assumptions made about the commu-nication model. Furthermore, they are sometimes inefficientbecause of the synchronous way they work: new plans areissued only once all robots have reached their goals. Thispaper introduces two novel asynchronous strategies thatwork with arbitrary communication models. In this paper, ‘asynchronous’ means that it is possible to issue new plansto subgroups of robots, when they are ready to receive them.First, we propose a single-stage strategy based on IntegerLinear Programming for selecting and assigning robots tolocations. Second, we design a two-stage strategy to improvecomputational efficiency, by separating the problem of loca-tions’ selection from that of robot-location assignments.Extensive testing both in simulation and with real robotsshow that the proposed strategies provide good situationawareness at the base station while efficiently exploring the environment.



  author       = {Jacopo Banfi and Alberto Quattrini Li and Ioannis
		 Rekleitis and Francesco Amigoni and Nicola Basilico},
  title        = {Strategies for coordinated multirobot exploration with
		 recurrent connectivity constraints},
  journal      = {Autonomous Robots},
  year	       = {2017},
  volume       = {},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  doi	       = {},
  pages        = {1-20},
  month        = {July},
  language     = {English}

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