A Heuristic for Efficient Coordination of Multiple Heterogeneous Mobile Robots Considering Workload Balance

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Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


The letter deals with a path planning problem that commonly arises in many applications involving multiple heterogeneous robots called a Multiple Depot Heterogeneous Traveling Salesman Problem (MDHTSP). Specifically, the authors seek to provide good quality of feasible solutions for a path planning problem for a given set of structurally heterogeneous mobile robots located in distinctive depots and a set of targets to visit while minimizing the maximum travel cost (min-max). A solution for MDHTSP with min-max objectives is in great demand for many applications, such as transportation and surveillance, because it is directly related to a significant reduction in the mission completion time. However, no reliable algorithm running in a reasonable computation time has been published for this specific problem. As an extension of our preliminary research on two heterogeneous robots, this letter presents a heuristic approach based on a primal-dual technique for the problem while focusing on the target assignment. The computational results of the implementation verify that the proposed algorithm produces a good quality of feasible solution within a relatively short computation time.

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IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters