Distributed Coverage and Exploration in Unknown Non-convex Environments

  • Subhrajit Bhattacharya
  • Nathan Michael
  • Vijay Kumar
Part of the Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics book series (STAR, volume 83)


We consider the problem of multi-robot exploration and coverage in unknown non-convex environments. The contributions of the work include (1) the presentation of a distributed algorithm that computes the generalized Voronoi tessellation of non-convex environments (using a discrete representation) in real-time for use in feedback control laws; and (2) the extension of this method to entropy based metrics that allow for cooperative coverage control in unknown non-convex environments. Simulation results demonstrate the application of the control methodology for cooperative exploration and coverage in an office environment.


Mobile Robot Voronoi Tessellation Explicit Coordination Neighboring Robot Discrete Environment 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Aronov, B.: On the geodesic voronoi diagram of point sites in a simple polygon. In: Proc. of the Sym. on Computational Geometry, pp. 39–49. ACM, New York (1987), doi: Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Burgard, W., Moors, M., Stachniss, C., Schneider, F.: Coordinated multi-robot exploration. IEEE Trans. Robot. 21(3), 376–378 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cormen, T.H., Stein, C., Rivest, R.L., Leiserson, C.E.: Introduction to Algorithms. McGraw-Hill Higher Education (2001)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cortes, J., Martinez, S., Karatas, T., Bullo, F.: Coverage control for mobile sensing networks. IEEE Trans. Robot. Autom. 20(2), 243–255 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Dijkstra, E.W.: A note on two problems in connexion with graphs. Numerische Mathematik 1, 269–271 (1959)MathSciNetzbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Fox, D., Ko, J., Konolige, K., Limketkai, B., Schultz, D., Stewart, B.: Distributed multirobot exploration and mapping. Proc. of the IEEE 94(7), 1325–1339 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Howard, A., Parker, L.E., Sukhatme, G.S.: Experiments with a large heterogeneous mobile robot team: Exploration, mapping, deployment and detection. Intl. J. Robot. Research 25(5-6), 431–447 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lloyd, S.P.: Least squares quantization in PCM. IEEE Trans. Inf. Theory 28, 129–137 (1982)MathSciNetzbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Michael, N., Fink, J., Kumar, V.: Experimental testbed for large multi-robot teams: Verification and validation. IEEE Robot. Autom. Mag. 15(1), 53–61 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Pimenta, L.C.A., Kumar, V., Mesquita, R.C., Pereira, G.A.S.: Sensing and coverage for a network of heterogeneous robots. In: Proc. of the IEEE Conf. on Decision and Control, Cancun, Mexico, pp. 3947–3952 (2008)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Preparata, F.P., Shamos, M.I.: Computational geometry: an introduction. Springer-Verlag New York, Inc., New York (1985)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Schwager, M., McLurkin, J., Rus, D.: Distributed coverage control with sensory feedback for networked robots. In: Proc. of Robot.: Sci. and Syst., Philadelphia, PA (2006)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Schwager, M., Slotine, J.E., Rus, D.: Decentralized, adaptive control for coverage with networked robots. In: Proc. of the IEEE Intl. Conf. on Robot. and Autom., Rome, Italy, pp. 3289–3294 (2007)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Stachniss, C.: Exploration and mapping with mobile robots. Ph.D. thesis, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany (2006)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Stachniss, C., Grisetti, G., Burgard, W.: Information gain-based exploration using rao-blackwellized particle filters. In: Proc. of Robot.: Sci. and Syst., Cambridge, MA, pp. 65–72 (2005)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Thrun, S., Burgard, W., Fox, D.: Probabilistic Robotics (Intelligent Robotics and Autonomous Agents). The MIT Press (2005)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Wu, L., Garcia, M.A., Puig, D., Sole, A.: Voronoi-based space partitioning for coordinated multi-robot exploration. J. Physical Agents 1(1), 37–44 (2007)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Subhrajit Bhattacharya
    • 1
  • Nathan Michael
    • 1
  • Vijay Kumar
    • 1
  1. 1.GRASP LaboratoryUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

Personalised recommendations