Combining Stochastic Optimization and Frontiers for Aerial Multi-Robot Exploration of 3D Terrains

Alessandro Renzaglia 1 Jilles Steeve Dibangoye 1 Vincent Le Doze 1 Olivier Simonin 1
1 CHROMA - Robots coopératifs et adaptés à la présence humaine en environnements dynamiques
Inria Grenoble - Rhône-Alpes, CITI - CITI Centre of Innovation in Telecommunications and Integration of services
Abstract : This paper addresses the problem of exploring unknown terrains with a fleet of cooperating aerial vehicles. We present a novel decentralized approach which alternates gradient-free stochastic optimization and frontier-based approaches. Our method allows each robot to generate its trajectory based on the collected data and the local map built integrating the information shared by its team-mates. Whenever a local optimum is reached, which corresponds to a location surrounded by already explored areas, the algorithm identifies the closest frontier to get over it and restarts the local optimization. Its low computational cost, the capability to deal with constraints and the decentralized decision-making make it particularly suitable for multi-robot applications in complex 3D environments. Simulation results show that our approach generates feasible and safe trajectories which drive multiple robots to completely explore realistic environments. Furthermore, in terms of exploration time, our algorithm significantly outperforms a standard solution based on closest frontier points while providing similar performances compared to a computationally more expensive centralized greedy solution.
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Alessandro Renzaglia, Jilles Steeve Dibangoye, Vincent Le Doze, Olivier Simonin. Combining Stochastic Optimization and Frontiers for Aerial Multi-Robot Exploration of 3D Terrains. IROS 2019 - IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Nov 2019, Macau, China. ⟨hal-02164806⟩

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