Coordination for multi-robot exploration and mapping

Reid G. Simmons David Apfelbaum Wolfram Burgard Dieter Fox Mark Moors Sebastian Thrun Håkan L. S. Younes


This paper addresses the problem of exploration and mapping of an unknown environment by multiple robots. The mapping algorithm is an on-line approach to likelihood maximization that uses hill climbing to find maps that are maximally consistent with sensor data and odometry. The exploration algorithm explicitly coordinates the robots. It tries to maximize overall utility by minimizing the potential for overlap in information gain amongst the various robots. For both the exploration and mapping algorithms, most of the computations are distributed. The techniques have been tested extensively in real-world trials and simulations. The results demonstrate the performance improvements and robustness that accrue from our multi-robot approach to exploration.

Sample citation

Reid G. Simmons, David Apfelbaum, Wolfram Burgard, Dieter Fox, Mark Moors, Sebastian Thrun, and Håkan L. S. Younes. 2000. Coordination for multi-robot exploration and mapping. In Proceedings of the Seventeenth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 852–858, Austin, Texas. AAAI Press.

Full paper (7 pages, 22 references)
Copyright © 2000, American Association for Artificial Intelligence. All rights reserved.