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Online Searching with an Autonomous Robot

Sándor P. Fekete1 - Rolf Klein2 - Andreas Nüchter3


We discuss online strategies for visibility-based searching for an object hidden behind a corner, using Kurt3D, a real autonomous mobile robot. This task is closely related to a number of well-studied problems. Our robot uses a three-dimensional laser scanner in a stop, scan, plan, go fashion for building a virtual three-dimensional environment. Besides planning trajectories and avoiding obstacles, Kurt3D is capable of identifying objects like a chair. We derive a practically useful and asymptotically optimal strategy that guarantees a competitive ratio of 2, which differs remarkably from the well-studied scenario without the need of stopping for surveying the environment. Our strategy is used by Kurt3D, documented in a separate video.

Keywords: Searching, visibility problems, watchman problems, online searching, competitive strategies, autonomous mobile robots, three-dimensional laser scanning, Kurt3D.

root 2004-06-02