Multiple Drones driven Hexagonally Partitioned Area Exploration: Simulation and Evaluation

Ayush Datta, Rahul Tallamraju, Kamalakar Karlapalem

In this paper, we simulated a distributed, cooperative path planning technique for multiple drones (~200) to explore an unknown region (~10,000 connected units) in the presence of obstacles. The map of an unknown region is dynamically created based on the information obtained from sensors and other drones. The unknown area is considered a connected region made up of hexagonal unit cells. These cells are grouped to form larger cells called sub-areas. We use long range and short range communication. The short-range communication within drones in smaller proximity helps avoid re-exploration of cells already explored by companion drones located in the same subarea. The long-range communication helps drones identify next subarea to be targeted based on weighted RNN (Reverse nearest neighbor). Simulation results show that weighted RNN in a hexagonal representation makes exploration more efficient, scalable and resilient to communication failures.

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