Selection of Rendezvous Points for Multi−Robot Exploration in Dynamic Environments
Julian de Hoog‚ Stephen Cameron and Arnoud Visser
For many robotics applications (such as robotic search and rescue), information about the environment must be gathered by a team of robots and returned to a single, specific location. Coordination of robots and sharing of information is vital, and when environments have severe communication limitations, approaches must be robust to communication drop-out and failure. The difficulties are compounded in dynamic environments, where paths previously believed to be free can suddenly become blocked. In this paper, we introduce a novel way of calculating rendezvous points for robots to meet and share information. Using role-based exploration, some robots continuously explore the environment while others ferry information back and forth to a central command centre. Optimal rendezvous point selection leads to more efficient exploration, and allows robots to replan when one of them has unexpected obstacles in its path.