Cooperative multi-robot control for target tracking with onboard sensing
The international journal of robotics research
We consider the cooperative control of a team of robots to estimate the position of a moving target using onboard sensing. In this setting, robots are required to estimate their positions using relative onboard sensing while concurrently tracking the target. Our probabilistic localization and control method takes into account the motion and sensing capabilities of the individual robots to minimize the expected future uncertainty of the target position. Two measures of uncertainty are
... evaluated and compared: mutual information and the trace of the Extended Kalman Filter covariance. Our approach reasons about multiple possible sensing topologies and incorporates an efficient topology switching technique to generate locally optimal controls in polynomial time complexity. Simulations illustrate the performance of our approach and prove its flexibility in finding suitable sensing topologies depending on the limited sensing capabilities of the robots and the movements of the target. Furthermore, we demonstrate the applicability of our method in various experiments with single and multiple quadrotor robots tracking a ground vehicle in an indoor environment. Keywords Cooperative multi-robot control; target tracking; sensor-based navigation; sensing topology switching * This is an extended version of "Cooperative Control for Target Tracking with Onboard Sensing" (Hausman et al., 2014) presented at the International Symposium on Experimental Robotics (ISER) 2014.