Distributed Navigation of Multi-Robot Systems For Sensing Coverage

Waqqas Ahmad

This research investigates decentralized control of mobile robots specifically for coverage problems. There are different approaches associated with decentralized control strategy for coverage control problems. We perform a comparative review of these approaches and use the approach based on simple local coordination rules. We investigate this extensively used nearest neighbour rule based approach for developing coverage control algorithms. In this approach, a mobile robot gives an equal importance to every neighbour robot coming under its communication range. We develop our control approach by making some of the mobile robots playing a more influential role than other members in the team. The approach based on this control strategy becomes efficient in terms of achieving a consensus on control inputs, say heading angle, velocity, etc. The decentralized control of mobile robots can also exhibit a cyclic behaviour under some physical constraints like a quantized orientation of mobile robot. We further investigate the cyclic behaviour appearing due to the quantized control of mobile robots under some conditions. Our nearest neighbour rule based approach offers a biased strategy in case of cyclic behaviour appearing in the team of mobile robots. We consider a clustering technique inside the team of mobile robots. Our decentralized control strategy calculates the similarity measure among the neighbours of a mobile robot. The team of mobile robots with the similarity measure based approach becomes efficient in achieving a fast consensus like on heading angle or velocity. We perform a rigorous mathematical analysis of our developed approach. We also develop a condition based on relaxed criteria for achieving consensus on velocity or heading angle of the mobile robots. Our validation approach is based on mathematical arguments and extensive computer simulations.

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