Distributed Object Characterization with Local Sensing by a Multi-robot System

  • Golnaz HabibiEmail author
  • Sándor P. Fekete
  • Zachary Kingston
  • James McLurkin
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Advanced Robotics book series (SPAR, volume 6)


This paper presents two distributed algorithms for enabling a swarm of robots with local sensing and local coordinates to estimate the dimensions and orientation of an unknown complex polygonal object, i.e., its minimum and maximum width and its main axis. Our first approach is based on a robust heuristic of distributed Principal Component Analysis (DPCA), while the second is based on turning the idea of Rotating Calipers into a distributed algorithm (DRC). We simulate DRC and DPCA methods and test DPCA on real robots. The result show our algorithms successfully estimate the dimension and orientation of convex or concave objects with a reasonable error in the presence of noisy data.


Objective Characterization Principal Component Analysis Distribution (DPCA) Distribution Algorithm Concave Objective Object Vertices 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank several anonymous reviewers for helpful input that improved the presentation of this paper. We also thank Madeleine Nikirk, James Gringe, Sam Caroll, and Randy Zhang for helping us in data collection.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Golnaz Habibi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sándor P. Fekete
    • 2
  • Zachary Kingston
    • 1
  • James McLurkin
    • 1
  1. 1.Rice UniversityHoustonUSA
  2. 2.TU BraunschweigBraunschweigGermany

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