Graph-Based Exploration using Multiple Robots

Ioannis Rekleitis, Gregory Dudek, Evangelos Milios
In 5th International Symposium on Distributed Autonomous Robotic Systems (DARS) 2000. [45 citations]


Abstract:We present an approach to multi-robot exploration of large environments. Our method is designed to be robust in the face of arbitrarily large odometry errors or objects with poor reflectance characteristics. The algorithm achieves its robustness by using a team of cooperating agents. The critical aspect of our method is the use of a vision system that sweeps areas of free space and generates a graph-based description of the environment. This graph is used to guide the exploration process and can also be used for subsequent tasks such as place recognition or path planning. As a result of the guidance provided by the dual graph of the triangulated environment, our system can guarantee complete exploration without any overlaps. We present an algorithmic solution, simulation results, as well as a cost analysis and experimental data. In this approach a pair of robots observe one another's behavior, thus greatly reducing odometry errors. We assume the robots can both directly sense nearby obstacles and see one another (if their view is not obstructed). We have implemented both these capabilities with actual robots in our lab.



  author       = {Ioannis Rekleitis and Gregory Dudek and Evangelos Milios},
  title        = {Graph-Based Exploration using Multiple Robots},
  booktitle    = {5th International Symposium on Distributed Autonomous
		 Robotic Systems (DARS)},
  pages        = {241-250},
  year	       = {2000},
  address      = {Knoxville, TN, USA},
  month        = {Oct.},
  publisher    = {Springer}

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