Multi-robot mission planning with static energy replenishment

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Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


The success of numerous long-term robotic explorations in the air, on the ground, and under the water is dependent on the ability of robots to operate for an extended time. The long-term ubiquitous operation of robots hinges on smart energy consumption and the replenishment of the robots. This paper provides a heuristic method for planning missions that extend over multiple battery lives of working robots. This method simultaneously generates energy efficient trajectories for multiple robots, and schedules energy cycling using static charging stations through the mission. The mission planning algorithm accounts for environmental obstacles, current, and can adapt to a priority search distribution. The simulation results for a scenario similar to the MH370 airplane search mission demonstrate the effectiveness of the developed algorithm in area coverage and handling environmental constraints. The robustness of the developed method is evaluated through a Monte Carlo simulation. In addition, the proposed algorithm is tested in simulation environment in Gazebo and implemented and experimentally validated for an in-lab aerial coverage scenario with an obstacle and a priority mission area.

Publication Title

Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems