A hybrid solution to the multi-robot integrated exploration problem
Miguel Juliá, Óscar Reinoso, Arturo Gil, Mónica Ballesta and Luis Payá
Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence  (June 2010)
Ed. Elsevier  ISSN:0952-1976  DOI:10.1016/j.engappai.2009.12.005  - Volume 23, Issue 4, Pages 473-486


In this paper we present a hybrid reactive/deliberative approach to the multi-robot integrated exploration problem. In contrast to other works, the design of the reactive and deliberative processes is exclusively oriented to the exploration having both the same importance level. The approach is based on the concepts of expected safe zone and gateway cell. The reactive exploration of the expected safe zone of the robot by means of basic behaviours avoids the presence of local minima. Simultaneously, a planner builds up a decision tree in order to decide between exploring the current expected safe zone or changing to other zone by means of travelling to a gateway cell. Furthermore, the model takes into account the degree of localization of the robots to return to previously explored areas when it is necessary to recover the certainty in the position of the robots. Several simulations demonstrate the validity of the approach.