R. Simmons, D. Apfelbaum, W. Burgard, D. Fox, M. Moors, S. Thrun, and H. Younes

Coordination for Multi-Robot Exploration and Mapping

Seventeenth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), 2000.


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.


Full paper [.ps.gz] (430 kb, 7 pages)


  AUTHOR            = {Simmons, R. and Apfelbaum, D. and Burgard, W. and Fox, D. and Moors, M. and Thrun, S. and Younes, H.},
  TITLE                  = {Coordination for Multi-Robot Exploration and Mapping},
  YEAR                   = {2000},
  BOOKTITLE     = {Proc.~of the National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI)}