Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 1843–1854 | Cite as

Cooperative Robot Deployment: Simulation and Real Experimental Analysis

  • Gamal Sallam
  • Uthman BaroudiEmail author
Research Article - Electrical Engineering


Autonomous robot deployment is very attracting feature especially inside unknown area. Virtual force (VF) technique appears as one of the prominent approaches to performing multirobot deployment autonomously. However, most of the existing VF-based approaches lack purposeful deployment. In this work, we present a Cooperative Virtual Force Robot Deployment (COVER) technique. Our approach modifies the original VF approach to overcome this problem and considers the mission requirements such as the number of required robots in each locality (e.g., landmarks are distributed, and each needs a specific number of robots in its vicinity). In addition, COVER expedites the deployment process by establishing a cooperative relation between robots and neighboring landmarks. Extensive simulation experiments have been carried out to assess the performance of COVER along with Hungarian deployment method (a centralized approach), the basic virtual force, and full virtual force. A proof of concept experiment using TurtleBot robots is presented as well to show real implementation of COVER. The simulation and experiment results demonstrate the effectiveness of COVER for several performance factors such as total traveled distance, total exchanged messages, and total deployment time.


Virtual force Robots Multirobot deployment Dynamic coverage Cooperative deployment TurtleBot 

List of symbols

R, \(R_\mathrm{f}\),\(R_\mathrm{a}\)

Robots, free robot, associated robots



\(d({L}_{j} )\)

Demand of landmark j

\(N_{r} (R_i )\)

Neighboring robots of robot \({R}_{i} \)

\(N_{l} (R_i )\)

Neighbor landmarks of robot \({R}_{i} \)


Attractive force


Repulsive force


Distance between robot \({R}_{i}\) and robot \({R}_{j} \)

\({d}_{\mathrm{th}} \)

Distance threshold between robots

\({\Theta }_{{ij}}\)

Angle between robot \({R}_{i} \) and robot \({R}_{j} \)


Maximum communication range


Force applied on robot \({R}_{i} \) from robot \({R}_{j} \)

\({F}_{{ir}} \)

Repulsive force applied on robot \({R}_{i}\) from a landmark


The total force applied on robot i


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.



The authors would like to acknowledge the support provided by the National Plan for Science, Technology and Innovation (MAARIFAH)—King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology through the Science & Technology Unit at King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM), the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, award Project No. 11-ELE2147-4.


  1. 1.
    Zou, Y., Chakrabarty, K.: Sensor deployment and target localization based on virtual forces. In: INFOCOM 2003. Twenty-Second Annual Joint Conference of the IEEE Computer and Communications. IEEE Societies, vol. 2. IEEE (2003)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Tan, G.; Jarvis, S.A.; Kermarrec, A.M.: Connectivity-guaranteed and obstacle-adaptive deployment schemes for mobile sensor networks. In: The 28th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, 2008. ICDCS ’08, vol. 8, pp. 429–437 (2008)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Costanzo, C.; Loscr’ı, V.; Natalizio, E.; Razafindralambo, T.: Nodes self-deployment for coverage maximization in mobile robot networks using an evolving neural network. Comput. Commun. 35(9), 1047–1055 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gupta, M.; Krishna, C.R.; Prasad, D.: SEEDS: scalable energy efficient deployment scheme for homogeneous wireless sensor network. In: The Proceedings of the International Conference on Issues and Challenges in Intelligent Computing Techniques (ICICT), Ghaziabad, India (2014)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Howard, A.; Mataric, M.; Sukhatme, G.: An incremental self-deployment algorithm for mobile sensor networks. Auton. Robots Spec. Issue Intell. Embed. Syst. 13(2), 113–126 (2002)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Erdelj, M.; Razafindralambo, T.; Simplot-Ryl, D.: Covering points of interest with mobile sensors. IEEE Trans. Parallel Distrib. Syst. 24(1), 32–43 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Li, X.; Frey, H.; Santoro, N.; Stojmenovic, I.: Strictly localized sensor self-deployment for optimal focused coverage. IEEE Trans. Mob. Comput. 10(11), 1520–1533 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Zorbas, D.; Razafindralambo, T.: Wireless sensor network redeployment under the target coverage constraint. In: 2012 5th International Conference on New Technologies, Mobility and Security (NTMS), pp. 1–5 (2012)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Senouci, M.R.; Mellouk, A.; Assnoune, K.; Bouhidel, F.: Movement-assisted sensor deployment algorithms: a survey and taxonomy. IEEE Commun. Surv. Tutor. 17(4), 2493–2510 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Wang, G.; Cao, G.; Porta, T.L.: Movement-assisted sensor deployment. Proc. IEEE INFOCOM 4(6), 2469–2479 (2004)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Wang, G.; Cao, G.; Berman, P.; La Porta, T.F.: Bidding protocols for deploying mobile sensors. IEEE Trans. Mob. Comput. 6(5), 563–576 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Senouci, M.R.; Mellouk, A.; Assnoune, K.: Localized movement-assisted sensor deployment algorithm for hole detection and healing. IEEE Trans. Parallel Distrib. Syst. 25(5), 1267–1277 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Farahani, B.J.; Ghaffarian, H.; Fathy, M.: A fuzzy based priority approach in mobile sensor network coverage. Int. J. Recent Trends Eng. 2(1), 138–143 (2009)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Shu, H.; Liang, Q.: Fuzzy optimization for distributed sensor deployment. Communications Society, pp. 1903–1908 (2005)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Suen, Y.: A genetic-algorithm based mobile sensor network deployment algorithm. J. Chem. Inf. Model. 53(9), 1689–1699 (2013)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Yu, X.: A faster convergence artificial bee colony algorithm in sensor deployment for wireless sensor networks. Int. J. Distrib. Sens. Netw. 2013 (2013)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Baroudi, U.; Sallam, G.; Al-shaboti, M.; Younis, M.: GPS-free robots deployment technique for rescue operation based on landmark’s criticality. In: International Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing Conference (IWCMC) (2015)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Sallam, G.; Baroudi, U.: COVER: a cooperative virtual force robot deployment technique. In: The 14th IEEE International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing and Communications (IUCC 2015) (2015)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kuhn, H.: The Hungarian method for the assignment problem. Nav. Res. Logist. Quart. 2(1–2), 83–97 (1955)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Wei Wang, X.H.: Research on sensor network self-deployment with virtual attractive and repulsive forces. Int. J. Adv. Inf. Sci. Serv. Sci. 5(6), 1031–1037 (2013)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Yu, X.; Huang, W.; Lan, J.; Qian, X.: A novel virtual force approach for node deployment in wireless sensor network. In: 2012 IEEE 8th International Conference on Distributed Computing in Sensor Systems, no. 2011, pp. 359–363 (2012)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Garetto, M.; Gribaudo, M.; Chiasserini, C.-F.; Leonardi, E.: A distributed sensor relocatlon scheme for environmental control. In: IEEE Internatonal Conference on Mobile Adhoc and Sensor Systems, vol. 2007, pp. 1–10 (2007)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Zhang, Y.; Wei, Z.: On deployment optimization strategy for hybrid wireless sensor networks. In: The 26th Chinese Control and Decision Conference (2014 CCDC), pp. 1875–1880 (2014)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Roselin, J.; Latha, P.: Energy balanced dynamic deployment optimization to enhance reliable lifetime of wireless sensor network. Int. J. Eng. Technol. (IJET) 5(4), 3450–3460 (2013)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Li, S.; Xu, C.; Pan, W.; Pan, Y.: Sensor deployment optimization for detecting maneuvering targets. In: 2005 7th International Conference on Information Fusion, p. 7 (2005)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Computer Engineering DepartmentKing Fahd University of Petroleum and MineralsDhahranSaudi Arabia

Personalised recommendations