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 efficacymore »
Adaptation to Team Composition Changes for Heterogeneous Multi-Robot Sensor Coverage
We consider the problem of multi-robot sensor coverage, which deals with deploying a multi-robot team in an environment and optimizing the sensing quality of the overall environment. As real-world environments involve a variety of sensory information, and individual robots are limited in their available number of sensors, successful multi-robot sensor coverage requires the deployment of robots in such a way that each individual team member’s sensing quality is maximized. Additionally, because individual robots have varying complements of sensors and both robots and sensors can fail, robots must be able to adapt and adjust how they value each sensing capability in order to obtain the most complete view of the environment, even through changes in team composition. We introduce a novel formulation for sensor coverage by multi-robot teams with heterogeneous sensing capabilities that maximizes each robot's sensing quality, balancing the varying sensing capabilities of individual robots based on the overall team composition. We propose a solution based on regularized optimization that uses sparsity-inducing terms to ensure a robot team focuses on all possible event types, and which we show is proven to converge to the optimal solution. Through extensive simulation, we show that our approach is able to effectively deploy a more »
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- IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)
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- National Science Foundation
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