RFID-Based Exploration for Large Robot Teams
Conference paper (Refereed)
Proc. of the IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)
2007 IEEE International Conference on, Robotics and Automation, Roma, Italy, 10-14 April 2007
Engineering and Technology
Artificial Intelligence & Integrated Computer Systems
To coordinate a team of robots for exploration is a challenging problem, particularly in large areas as for example the devastated area after a disaster. This problem can generally be decomposed into task assignment and multi-robot path planning. In this paper, we address both problems jointly. This is possible because we reduce significantly the size of the search space by utilizing RFID tags as coordination points. The exploration approach consists of two parts: a stand-alone distributed local search and a global monitoring process which can be used to restart the local search in more convenient locations. Our results show that the local exploration works for large robot teams, particularly if there are limited computational resources. Experiments with the global approach showed that the number of conflicts can be reduced, and that the global coordination mechanism increases significantly the explored area.