Risk-aware Resource Allocation for Multiple UAVs-UGVs Recharging Rendezvous

Ahmad Bilal Asghar, Guangyao Shi, Nare Karapetyan, James Humann, Jean-Paul Reddinger, James Dotterweich, Pratap Tokekar

We study a resource allocation problem for the cooperative aerial-ground vehicle routing application, in which multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) with limited battery capacity and multiple Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) that can also act as a mobile recharging stations need to jointly accomplish a mission such as persistently monitoring a set of points. Due to the limited battery capacity of the UAVs, they sometimes have to deviate from their task to rendezvous with the UGVs and get recharged. Each UGV can serve a limited number of UAVs at a time. In contrast to prior work on deterministic multi-robot scheduling, we consider the challenge imposed by the stochasticity of the energy consumption of the UAV. We are interested in finding the optimal recharging schedule of the UAVs such that the travel cost is minimized and the probability that no UAV runs out of charge within the planning horizon is greater than a user-defined tolerance. We formulate this problem ({Risk-aware Recharging Rendezvous Problem (RRRP))} as an Integer Linear Program (ILP), in which the matching constraint captures the resource availability constraints and the knapsack constraint captures the success probability constraints. We propose a bicriteria approximation algorithm to solve RRRP. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our formulation and algorithm in the context of one persistent monitoring mission.

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