Coordinated Exploration with Marsupial Teams of Robots using Temporal Symbolic Planning

Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), IEEE, 2010
The problem of autonomously exploring an environment with a team of robots received considerable attention in the past. However, there are relatively few approaches to coordinate teams of robots that are able to deploy and retrieve other robots. Efficiently coordinating the exploration with such marsupial robots requires advanced planning mechanisms that are able to consider symbolic deployment and retrieval actions. In this paper, we propose a novel approach for coordinating the exploration with marsupial robot teams. Our method integrates a temporal symbolic planner that explicitly considers deployment and retrieval actions with a traditional utility-based assignment procedure. Our approach has been implemented and evaluated in several simulated environments and with varying team sizes. The results demonstrate that our proposed method is able to coordinate marsupial teams of robots to efficiently explore unknown environments.


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