Md Ahsan Habib, M.S. Alam, N.H. Siddique
May 12, 2012
This paper presents a new approach to the multi-agent coverage path-planning problem. An efficient multi-robot coverage algorithm yields a coverage path for each robot, such that the union of all paths generates an almost full coverage of the terrain and the total coverage time is minimized. The proposed algorithm enables multiple robots with limited sensor capabilities to perform efficient coverage on a shared territory. Each robot is assigned to an exclusive route which enables it to carry out its tasks simultaneously, e.g., cleaning assigned floor area with minimal path overlapping. It is very difficult to cover all free space without visiting some locations more than once, but the occurrence of such events can be minimized with efficient algorithms. The proposed multi-robot coverage strategy directs a number of simple robots to cover an unknown area in a systematic manner. This is based on footprint data left by the randomized path-planning robots previously operated on that area. The developed path-planning algorithm has been applied to a simulated environment and robots to verify its effectiveness and performance in such an application.