Online Coverage by a Tethered Autonomous Mobile Robot in Planar Unknown Environments

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 3:15pm - 4:05pm
Keller 3-180
Elon Rimon (Technion-Israel Institute of Technology)
This paper is concerned with online tethered coverage, in which a mobile robot of size D is attached to a fixed point S by a cable of finite length L. Starting at S, the robot has to cover an unknown planar environment containing obstacles, and return to S with the cable fully retracted. The paper first establishes an optimal off-line tethered coverage methodology, then introduces the TC algorithm that performs online tethered coverage using position and local obstacle detection sensors. The performance of the TC algorithm is measured by its competitiveness, determined by measuring its total online path length, l, relative to the optimal off-line solution l_opt. The paper establishes that the TC algorithm has a competitive performance of l = 3 l_opt /2. Execution example and experiments with a tethered recoiling mechanism illustrate the usefulness of the TC algorithm.