Autonomous Robots

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 247-253

First online:

Coverage of Known Spaces: The Boustrophedon Cellular Decomposition

  • Howie ChosetAffiliated withDepartment of Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

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Coverage path planning is the determination of a path that a robot must take in order to pass over each point in an environment. Applications include de-mining, floor scrubbing, and inspection. We developed the boustrophedon cellular decomposition, which is an exact cellular decomposition approach, for the purposes of coverage. Essentially, the boustrophedon decomposition is a generalization of the trapezoidal decomposition that could allow for non-polygonalobstacles, but also has the side effect of having more “efficient” coverage paths than the trapezoidal decomposition. Each cell in the boustrophedon decomposition is covered with simple back and forth motions. Once each cell is covered, then the entire environment is covered. Therefore, coverage is reduced to finding an exhaustive path through a graph which represents the adjacency relationships of the cells in the boustrophedon decomposition. This approach is provably complete and experiments on a mobile robot validate this approach.

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