Flocking-based distributed terrain coverage with dynamically-formed teams of mobile mini-robots

Prithviraj Dasgupta, Ke Cheng, Li Fan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

9 Scopus citations


We consider the problem of distributed terrain coverage within an unknown environment by teams of mobile, resource-constrained mini-robots. Previous research on this topic mainly focuses on multiple robots that cover the environment individually while sharing limited information about their actions using local hcuiistics. However, those methods do not Existing literature on flocking-based control of robot teams essentially provides mechanisms to move the robots as a single team in formation and to reconfigure the team when some of the team members have to temporarily move out of formation to avoid obstacles along the team's path [2], [8], [9]. However, address the issue of dynamically building robot teams and restructuring the team formations based on the operational constraints within the environment. In this paper, we combine a flocking-based mechanism for robot team formation with a utility-based mechanism that enables robots to change teams to dynamically to improve the coverage of the environment. We have tested our techniques empirically on accurate models of e-puck robots on the Webots simulator within different environments. Our experimental results show that our team-based coverage technique performs significantly better in terms of coverage, by about 25%, and slightly better in terms of redundancy in area covered, than comparable distributed terrain coverage strategies for resource-constrained mini-robots.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2009 IEEE Swarm Intelligence Symposium, SIS 2009 - Proceedings
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2009
Event2009 IEEE Swarm Intelligence Symposium, SIS 2009 - Nashville, TN, United States
Duration: Mar 30 2009Apr 2 2009

Publication series

Name2009 IEEE Swarm Intelligence Symposium, SIS 2009 - Proceedings


Conference2009 IEEE Swarm Intelligence Symposium, SIS 2009
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNashville, TN

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Software


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