Multi-Robot Fire Searching in Unknown Environment

Exploration of an unknown environment is a fundamental concern in mobile robotics. This paper presents an approach for cooperative multi-robot exploration, fire searching and mapping in an unknown environment. The proposed approach aims to minimize the overall exploration time, making it possible to locate fire sources in an efficient way. In order to achieve this goal, the robots cooperate in order to individually and simultaneously, explore different areas of the environment while they identify fire sources. The proposed approach employs a decentralized frontier based exploration method which evaluates the cost/gain ratio to navigate to target way-points. The target way-points are obtained by an A* search variant algorithm. The potential field method is used to control the robots’ motion while avoiding obstacles. When a robot detects a fire, it estimates the flame’s position by triangulation. The communication between the robots is done in a decentralized control manner where they share the necessary data to generate a map of the environment and to perform cooperative actions in a behavioral decision making way. This paper presents simulated and experimental results of the proposed exploration and fire search method and concludes with a discussion of the obtained results and future improvements.

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Multi-Robot Fire Searching in Unknown Environment
Springer Berlin Heidelberg

 Record created 2014-03-10, last modified 2018-03-17

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