Distributed Coverage Control by Robot Networks in Unknown Environments Using a Modified EM Algorithm
Abstract:In this paper, we study a distributed control algorithm
for the problem of unknown area coverage by a network of robots.
The coverage objective is to locate a set of targets in the area and
to minimize the robots’ energy consumption. The robots have no
prior knowledge about the location and also about the number of the
targets in the area. One efficient approach that can be used to relax
the robots’ lack of knowledge is to incorporate an auxiliary learning
algorithm into the control scheme. A learning algorithm actually
allows the robots to explore and study the unknown environment
and to eventually overcome their lack of knowledge. The control
algorithm itself is modeled based on game theory where the network
of the robots use their collective information to play a non-cooperative
potential game. The algorithm is tested via simulations to verify its
performance and adaptability.
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