Redundancy, efficiency and robustness in multi-robot coverage

Noam Hazon, Gal A. Kaminka

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

121 Scopus citations


Area coverage is an important task for mobile robots, with many real-world applications. Motivated by potential efficiency and robustness improvements, there is growing interest in the use of multiple robots in coverage. Previous investigations of multi-robot coverage focuses on completeness and eliminating redundancy, but does not formally address robustness, nor examine the impact of the initial positions of robots on the coverage time. Indeed, a common assumption is that non-redundancy leads to improved coverage time. We address robustness and efficiency in a family of multi-robot coverage algorithms, based on spanning-tree coverage of approximate cell decomposition. We analytically show that the algorithms are robust, in that as long as a single robot is able to move, the coverage will be completed. We also show that non-redundant (non-backtracking) versions of the algorithms have a worst-case coverage time virtually identical to that of a single robotthus no performance gain is guaranteed in non-redundant coverage. Moreover, this worst-case is in fact common in real-world applications. Surprisingly, however, redundant coverage algorithms lead to guaranteed performance which halves the coverage time even in the worst case.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2005 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes
Event2005 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 18 Apr 200522 Apr 2005

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
ISSN (Print)1050-4729


Conference2005 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation


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