Maryland Robotics Student Seminar: Distributed Multi-Robot Information Gathering using Path-Based Se

Friday, November 18, 2022
2:00 p.m.
1146 A. V. Williams Bldg
LaToya Hale
301 405 3108

Distributed Multi-Robot Information Gathering using Path-Based Sensors in Entropy-Weighted Voronoi Regions

Alkesh Kumar Srivastava
Graduate Assistant - Motion and Teaming Lab

Maryland Applied Graduate Engineering Department

Advisor: Dr. Michael Otte

University of Maryland


Distributed information-gathering algorithms for multi-robot systems that use multiple path-based sensors to infer the locations of hazards within the environment will be discussed. Path-based sensors output binary observations, reporting whether or not an event (like robot destruction) has occurred somewhere along a path, but without the ability to discern where an event has occurred along a path. Prior work has shown that path-based sensors can be used for search and rescue in hazardous communication-denied environments—sending robots into the environment one at a time. We extend this idea to enable multiple robots to search the environment simultaneously. The search space contains targets (human survivors) amidst hazards that can destroy robots (triggering a path-based hazard sensor). We consider a case where communication from the field is prohibited due to communication loss, jamming, or stealth. The search effort is distributed among multiple robots using an entropy-weighted Voronoi partitioning of the environment, such that during each search round, all regions have approximately equal information entropy. In each round, every robot is assigned a region in which its search path is calculated. Numerical Monte Carlo simulations are used to compare this idea to other ways of using path-based sensors on multiple robots. The experiments show that information gathering using entropy-weighted Voronoi partitioning outperforms the other methods in terms of the information gathered and computational cost.

Note: This work has been accepted for publication and will be presented at the 16th International Symposium on Distributed Autonomous Robotic Systems (DARS), Montbéliard, France.

About the Robotics Student Seminars
The Robotics Student Seminars at the University of Maryland College Park are a student-run series of talks given by current robotics students.

The purpose of these talks is to:

  • Encourage interaction between Robotics students from different subfields;
  • Provide an opportunity for Robotics students to be aware of and possibly get involved in the research their peers are conducting;
  • Provide an opportunity for Robotics students to receive feedback on their current research;
  • Provide speaking opportunities for Robotics students.

 **Light refreshments will be served.

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