Autonomous Robots

, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 825–851 | Cite as

Complete 3-D dynamic coverage in energy-constrained multi-UAV sensor networks

  • William BentzEmail author
  • Tru Hoang
  • Enkhmurun Bayasgalan
  • Dimitra Panagou
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Special Issue: Online Decision Making in Multi-Robot Coordination


This paper considers dynamic coverage control of multiple power-constrained agents subject to 3D rigid body kinematics. The agents are deployed to patrol a domain until the entire space has reached a satisfactory level of coverage. This is achieved through the gathering of information by a forward-facing sensor footprint, modelled as an anisotropic spherical sector. Coverage and collision avoidance guarantees are met by a hybrid controller consisting of four operating modes: local coverage, global coverage, waypoint scan and subdomain transfer. Energy-aware methods are encoded into the global coverage state to shift the bulk of spatial redistribution onto less constrained agents. Additionally, a novel domain partitioning strategy is used that directs individual agents to explore within concentric hemispherical shells around a centralized charging station. This results in flight paths that are guaranteed to terminate at the charging station in the limit that agent batteries expire. The efficacy of this algorithm is presented through experimental trials with three agents in an indoor environment. Simulations are provided for ten agents.


Coverage Multi-robot cooperation Aerial robots Autonomous vehicle 

Supplementary material

Supplementary material 1 (mp4 258209 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Aerospace EngineeringUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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