Simultaneous Cooperative Exploration and Networking based on Voronoi Diagrams
Egerstedt, Magnus B.
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We develop a strategy that enables multiple intelligent vehicles to cooperatively explore complex and dangerous territories. Every vehicle drops communication devices and expands an information network while constructing a topological map based on the Voronoi diagram. As the information network weaved by each vehicle grows, intersections eventually happen so that the networks are shared. This allows for distributed vehicles to share information with other vehicles that have also dropped communication devices. Our exploration algorithms are provably complete under mild technical assumptions. A performance analysis of the algorithms shows that in a bounded workspace, the time spent to complete the exploration decreases in proportion to the number of vehicles employed. The algorithms are demonstrated in simulation.