The sensor-based random graph method for cooperative robot exploration

Antonio Franchi, Luigi Freda, Giuseppe Oriolo, Marilena Vendittelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

97 Citations (Scopus)


We present a decentralized cooperative exploration strategy for a team of mobile robots equipped with range finders. A roadmap of the explored area, with the associate safe region, is built in the form of a sensor-based random graph (SRG). This is expanded by the robots by using a randomized local planner that automatically realizes a tradeoff between information gain and navigation cost. The nodes of the SRG represent view configurations that have been visited by at least one robot, and are connected by arcs that represent safe paths. These paths have been actually traveled by the robots or added to the SRG to improve its connectivity. Decentralized cooperation and coordination mechanisms are used so as to guarantee exploration efficiency and avoid conflicts. Simulations and experiments are presented to show the performance of the proposed technique.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-175
JournalIEEE/ASME transactions on mechatronics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

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