Michael Bosse, Navid Nourani-Vatani and Jonathan Roberts
Conference Name & Place
IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Rome, Italy
A coverage algorithm is an algorithm that deploys a strategy as to how to cover all points in terms of a given area using some set of sensors. In the past decades a lot of research has gone into development of coverage algorithms. Initially, the focus was coverage of structured and semi-structured indoor areas, but with time and development of better sensors and introduction of GPS, the focus has turned to outdoor coverage. Due to the unstructured nature of an outdoor environment, covering an outdoor area with all its obstacles and simultaneously performing reliable localization is a difficult task. In this paper, two path planning algorithms suitable for solving outdoor coverage tasks are introduced. The algorithms take into account the kinematic constraints of an under-actuated car-like vehicle, minimize trajectory curvatures, and dynamically avoid detected obstacles in the vicinity, all in real-time. We demonstrate the performance of the coverage algorithm in the field by achieving 95% coverage using an autonomous tractor mower without the aid of any absolute localization system or constraints on the physical boundaries of the area.