Scheduling an autonomous robot searching for hidden targets
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The problem of searching for hidden or missing objects (called targets) by autonomous intelligent robots in an unknown environment arises in many applications, e.g., searching for and rescuing lost people after disasters in high-rise buildings, searching for fire sources and hazardous materials, etc. Until the target is found, it may cause loss or damage whose extent depends on the location of the target and the search duration. The problem is to efficiently schedule the robot’s moves so as to detect the target as soon as possible. The autonomous mobile robot has no operator on board, as it is guided and totally controlled by on-board sensors and computer programs. We construct a mathematical model for the search process in an uncertain environment and provide a new fast algorithm for scheduling the activities of the robot which is used before an emergency evacuation of people after a disaster.
KeywordsIntelligent robot Search-and-rescue Emergency evacuation Scheduling algorithm
The authors wish to thank the Editor and anonymous reviewers for their very useful comments and suggestions. This research was supported in part by the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong under grant no. PolyU 152148/15E.
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