This paper compares different distributed control approaches that enable a team of robots search for and track an unknown number of targets. The robots are equipped with sensors which have limited field of view (FoV) and are required to explore the environment. The team uses a distributed formulation of the Probability Hypothesis Density (PHD) filter to estimate the number and the position of the targets. The resulting target estimate is used to select the future search locations for each robot. This paper compares Lloyd’s algorithm, a traditional method for distributed search, with two typical stochastic optimization methods, Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) and Simulated Annealing (SA). PSO and SA are traditionally used to find a single global maximum, therefore this paper describes novel formulations of PSO and SA to solve the problem of multi-target tracking. These new methods more effectively trade off between exploration and exploitation. Simulations demonstrate that the use of these stochastic optimization techniques improves coverage of the search space and reduces the error in the target estimates compared to the baseline approach.
Distributed Multi-Target Search and Tracking Using a Coordinated Team of Ground and Aerial Robots
Presented at the Workshop on Heterogeneous Multi-Robot Task Allocation and Coordination. The authors recently developed a distributed algorithm to enable a team of homogeneous robots to search for and track an unknown and time-varying number of dynamic targets. This algorithm combined a distributed version of the PHD filter (for multi-target tracking) with Lloyd’s algorithm to drive the motion of the robots. In this paper we extend this previous work to allow a heterogeneous team of groundand aerial robots to perform the search and tracking tasks in a coordinated manner. Both types of robots are equipped with sensors that have a finite field of view and which may receive both false positive and false negative detections. Theaerial robots may vary the size of their sensor field of view (FoV) by changing elevation. This increase in the FoV coincides with a decrease in the accuracy and reliability of the sensor. The ground robots maintain the target tracking information while the aerial robots provide additional sensor coverage. We develop two new distributed algorithms to provide filter updates and to make control decisions in this heterogeneous team. Both algorithms only require robots to communicate with nearby robots and use minimal bandwidth.We demonstrate the efficacy of more »
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- Robotics science and systems
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- National Science Foundation
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