Multi-robot systems of autonomous mobile robots offer many benefits but also many challenges. This work addresses collision avoidance of robots solving continuous problems in known environments. The approach to handling collision avoidance is here to enhance a motion planning method for single-robot systems to account for auxiliary robots. A few assumptions are made to put the focus of the work on path planning, rather than on localization.
A method, based on exact cell decomposition and extended with a few rules, was developed and its consistency was proven. The method is divided into two steps: path planning, which is off-line, and path monitoring, which is on-line. This work also introduces the notion ofpath obstacle, an essential tool for this kind of path planning with many robots.
Furthermore, an implementation was performed on a system of omni-directional robots and tested in simulations and experiments. The implementation practices centralized control, by letting an additional computer handle the motion planning, to relieve the robots of strenuous computations.
A few drawbacks with the method are stressed, and the characteristics of problems that the method is suitable for are presented.
Author: Johansson, Ronnie