xBots: An Approach to Generating and Executing Optimal Multi-Robot Plans with Constraints

G. Ayorkor Korsah, Balajee Kannan, Brett Browning, and M Bernardine Dias
tech. report CMU-RI-TR-11-25, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, August, 2011


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Abstract
In this report, we present an approach to optimal planning and flexible execution for a set of spatially distributed tasks related by temporal ordering constraints such as precedence, synchronization, or non-overlapping constraints. We integrate an optimal planner for task allocation and scheduling with cross-schedule dependencies with a flexible, distributed plan execution strategy. The integrated system performs optimal task allocation and scheduling for tasks related by temporal constraints, and ensures that plans are executed smoothly in the face of real-world variations in operation speed and task execution time. It also ensures that plan execution degrades gracefully in the event of task failure. We demonstrate the capabilities of our approach on a team of three pioneer robots operating in an indoor environment. Experimental results focus on the flexible execution strategy and illustrate that it effectively enables execution of the optimal plan and prevents constraint violations. The overall approach is thus demonstrated to be effective for constrained planning and execution in the face of realworld variations.

Keywords
multi-robot teams, task-allocation, plan execution, constrained-based planning

Notes
Sponsor: Qatar National Research Fund and Boeing Company
Associated Project(s): Human-Robot Teams

Text Reference
G. Ayorkor Korsah, Balajee Kannan, Brett Browning, and M Bernardine Dias, "xBots: An Approach to Generating and Executing Optimal Multi-Robot Plans with Constraints," tech. report CMU-RI-TR-11-25, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, August, 2011

BibTeX Reference
@techreport{Korsah_2011_6903,
   author = "G. Ayorkor Korsah and Balajee Kannan and Brett Browning and M Bernardine Dias",
   title = "xBots: An Approach to Generating and Executing Optimal Multi-Robot Plans with Constraints",
   booktitle = "",
   institution = "Robotics Institute",
   month = "August",
   year = "2011",
   number= "CMU-RI-TR-11-25",
   address= "Pittsburgh, PA",
}