Journal Article Symbiotic Navigation in Multi-Robot Systems with Remote Obstacle Knowledge Sharing

Ravankar, Abhijeet  ,  Ravankar, Ankit A.  ,  Kobayashi, Yukinori  ,  Emaru, Takanori

17 ( 7 )  , p.1581 , 2017-07 , MDPI
Large scale operational areas often require multiple service robots for coverage and task parallelism. In such scenarios, each robot keeps its individual map of the environment and serves specific areas of the map at different times. We propose a knowledge sharing mechanism for multiple robots in which one robot can inform other robots about the changes in map, like path blockage, or new static obstacles, encountered at specific areas of the map. This symbiotic information sharing allows the robots to update remote areas of the map without having to explicitly navigate those areas, and plan efficient paths. A node representation of paths is presented for seamless sharing of blocked path information. The transience of obstacles is modeled to track obstacles which might have been removed. A lazy information update scheme is presented in which only relevant information affecting the current task is updated for efficiency. The advantages of the proposed method for path planning are discussed against traditional method with experimental results in both simulation and real environments.

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