|Title||Distributed Multi-robot Exploration and Mapping|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2006|
|Authors||Fox D, Ko J, Konolige K, Limketkai B, Stewart B|
|Journal||Proc. of the IEEE|
Efficient exploration of unknown environments is a fundamental problem in mobile robotics. In this paper we present an approach to distributed multi-robot mapping and exploration. Our system enables teams of robots to efficiently explore environments from different, unknown locations. In order to ensure consistency when combining their data into shared maps, the robots actively seek to verify their relative locations. Using shared maps, they coordinate their exploration strategies so as to maximize the efficiency of exploration. Our system was evaluated under extremely realistic real-world conditions. An outside evaluation team found the system to be highly efficient and robust. The maps generated by our approach are consistently more accurate than those generated by manually measuring the locations and extensions of rooms and objects.