Multi-target visual tracking with aerial robots

Pratap Tokekar, Volkan Isler, Antonio Franchi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


We study the problem of tracking mobile targets using a team of aerial robots. Each robot carries a camera to detect targets moving on the ground. The overall goal is to plan for the trajectories of the robots in order to track the most number of targets, and accurately estimate the target locations using the images. The two objectives can conflict since a robot may fly to a higher altitude and potentially cover a larger number of targets at the expense of accuracy. We start by showing that k ≥ 3 robots may not be able to track all n targets while maintaining a constant factor approximation of the optimal quality of tracking at all times. Next, we study the problem of choosing robot trajectories to maximize either the number of targets tracked or the quality of tracking. We formulate this problem as the weighted version of a combinatorial optimization problem known as the Maximum Group Coverage (MGC) problem. A greedy algorithm yields a 1/2 approximation for the weighted MGC problem. Finally, we evaluate the algorithm and the sensing model through simulations and preliminary experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2014 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
Subtitle of host publicationIROS 2014 Conference Digest
Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4799-6934-0
ISBN (Print)978-1-4799-6931-9
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event2014 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2014 - Chicago, United States
Duration: 14 Sept 201418 Sept 2014

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
ISSN (Print)2153-0858
ISSN (Electronic)2153-0866


Conference2014 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2014
Abbreviated titleIROS
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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