, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 285-300

A Sampling-Based Motion Planning Approach to Maintain Visibility of Unpredictable Targets

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This paper deals with the surveillance problem of computing the motions of one or more robot observers in order to maintain visibility of one or several moving targets. The targets are assumed to move unpredictably, and the distribution of obstacles in the workspace is assumed to be known in advance. Our algorithm computes a motion strategy by maximizing the shortest distance to escape—the shortest distance the target must move to escape an observer's visibility region. Since this optimization problem is intractable, we use randomized methods to generate candidate surveillance paths for the observers. We have implemented our algorithms, and we provide experimental results using real mobile robots for the single target case, and simulation results for the case of two targets-two observers.

Rafael Murrieta-Cid received the B.S degree in Physics Engineering (1990), and the M.Sc. degree in Automatic Manufacturing Systems (1993), both from “Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey” (ITESM) Campus Monterrey. He received his Ph.D. from the “Institut National Polytechnique” (INP) of Toulouse, France (1998). His Ph.D research was done in the Robotics and Artificial Intelligence group of the LAAS/CNRS. In 1998–1999, he was a postdoctoral researcher in the Computer Science Department at Stanford University. From January 2000 to July 2002 he was an assistant professor in the Electrical Engineering Department at ITESM Campus México City, México. In 2002–2004, he was working as a postdoctoral research associate in the Beckman Institute and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Since August 2004, he is director of the Mechatronics Research Center in the ITESM Campus Estado de México, México. He is mainly interested in sensor-based robotics motion planning and computer vision.
Benjamin Tovar received the B.S degree in electrical engineering from ITESM at Mexico City, Mexico, in 2000, and the M.S. in electrical engineering from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA, in 2004. Currently (2005) he is pursuing the Ph.D degree in Computer Science at the University of Illinois. Prior to M.S. studies he worked as a research assistant at Mobile Robotics Laboratory at ITESM Mexico City. He is mainly interested in motion planning, visibility-based tasks, and minimal sensing for robotics.
Seth Hutchinson received his Ph. D. from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana in 1988. He spent 1989 as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at Purdue University. In 1990 Dr. Hutchinson joined the faculty at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, where he is currently a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the Coordinated Science Laboratory, and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. Dr. Hutchinson is currently a senior editor of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation. In 1996 he was a guest editor for a special section of the Transactions devoted to the topic of visual servo control, and in 1994 he was co-chair of an IEEE Workshop on Visual Servoing. In 1996 and 1998 he co-authored papers that were finalists for the King-Sun Fu Memorial Best Transactions Paper Award. He was co-chair of IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Technical Committee on Computer and Robot Vision from 1992 to 1996, and has served on the program committees for more than thirty conferences related to robotics and computer vision. He has published more than 100 papers on the topics of robotics and computer vision.