Authors: David Michel; Kenneth McIsaac
Addresses: Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Western University, London, Ontario N6A 3K7, Canada ' Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Western University, London, Ontario N6A 3K7, Canada
Abstract: Path planning for complete coverage whilst seeking to minimise energy consumption is not an idea which has been rigorously investigated in the past. This work details a new approach to this problem. The system described herein should prove useful for planetary exploration due to the limited supply of electrical power available to exploration rovers. Our system accepts as input terrain maps detailing the energy consumption required to move to each of eight adjacent points. Exploration is performed via a cost function which determines the robot's next move by selecting the lowest cost adjacent point as the next target. This system was successfully extended to groups of two, three and four robots by means of a shared exploration map. The energy consumed by our system was substantially less than that consumed by a boustrophedon (back and forth) coverage pattern.
Keywords: robot path planning; complete coverage; energy consumption; energy efficiency; mapped areas; multiple robots; planetary exploration; planetary rovers; terrain maps; robot navigation.
International Journal of Mechatronics and Automation, 2013 Vol.3 No.4, pp.230 - 238
Received: 17 Oct 2012
Accepted: 05 Feb 2013
Published online: 18 Dec 2013 *