Minimalist Robot Navigation and Coverage Using a Dynamical System Approach Conference Paper uri icon


  • © 2017 IEEE. Equipped only with a clock and a contact sensor, a mobile robot can be programmed to bounce off walls in a predictable way: The robot drives forward until meeting an obstacle, then rotates in place and proceeds forward again. Though this behavior is easily modeled and trivially implemented, is it useful?We present an approach for solving both navigation and coverage problems using such a bouncing robot. The former entails finding a path from one pose to another, while the latter combines different paths over desired locations. Our approach has the following steps: 1) A directed graph is constructed from the environment geometry using the simple bouncing policies, 2) The shortest path on the graph, for navigation, is generated between either one given pair of initial and goal poses or all possible pairs of initial and goal poses, 3) The optimal distribution of bouncing policies is computed so that the actual coverage distribution is as close as possible to the target coverage distribution. Finally, we present experimental results from multiple simulations and hardware experiments to demonstrate the practical utility of our approach.

author list (cited authors)

  • Alam, T., Bobadilla, L., & Shell, D. A.

citation count

  • 8

publication date

  • April 2017