Multi-robot coverage path planning using hexagonal segmentation for geophysical surveys

Author(s): Azpúrua, Héctor; Freitas, Gustavo M.; Macharet, Douglas G.; Campos, Mario F. M.
Summary: The field of robotics has received significant attention in our society due to the extensive use of robotic manipulators; however, recent advances in the research on autonomous vehicles have demonstrated a broader range of applications, such as exploration, surveillance, and environmental monitoring. In this sense, the problem of efficiently building a model of the environment using cooperative mobile robots is critical. Finding routes that are either length or time-optimized is essential for realworld applications of small autonomous robots. This paper addresses the problem of multi-robot área coverage path planning for geophysical surveys. Such surveys have many applications in mineral exploration, geology, archeology, and oceanography, among other fields.We propose a methodology that segments the environment into hexagonal cells and allocates groups of robots to different clusters of non-obstructed cells to acquire data. Cells can be covered by lawnmower, square or centroid patterns with specific configurations to address the constraints of magneto-metric surveys. Several trials were executed in a simulated environment, and a statistical investigation of the results is provided. We also report the results of experiments that were performed with real Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in an outdoor setting.
Journal: Robotica
Year: 2018
Volume: v. 36
Pages: p. 1144-1166
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0263574718000292
Year of publication: 2018
Available at: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/robotica/article/multirobot-coverage-path-planning-using-hexagonal-segmentation-for-geophysical-surveys/B79A72FF9DAC9684FE2DDC82CB59BDD8
Publisher and ISSN: Cambridge