Autonomous Robots

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 247–253

Coverage of Known Spaces: The Boustrophedon Cellular Decomposition

  • Howie Choset

DOI: 10.1023/A:1008958800904

Cite this article as:
Choset, H. Autonomous Robots (2000) 9: 247. doi:10.1023/A:1008958800904


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.

vacuum cleaning coverage floor coverage boustrophedon cellular decomposition motion planning complete algorithm mobile robot 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Howie Choset
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA

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