Covering Space with Simple Robots: From Chains to Random Trees Conference Paper uri icon


  • Inspired by the Rapidly-exploring random tree data-structure and algorithm for path planning, we introduce an approach for spanning physical space with a group of simple mobile robots. Emphasizing minimalism and using only InfraRed and contact sensors for communication, our position unaware robots physically embody elements of the tree. Although robots are fundamentally constrained in the spatial operations they may perform, we show that the approach - implemented on physical robots - remains consistent with the original data-structure idea. In particular, we show that a generalized form of Voronoi bias is present in the construction of the tree, and that such trees have an approximate space-filling property. We present an analysis of the physical system via sets of coupled stochastic equations: the first being the rate-equation for the transitions made by the robot controllers, and the second to capture the spatial process describing tree formation. We are able to provide an understanding of the control parameters in terms of a process mixing-time and show the dependence of the Voronoi bias on an interference parameter which grows as O(N). 2013 IEEE.

name of conference

  • 2013 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation

published proceedings

  • 2013 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation

author list (cited authors)

  • Ghoshal, A., & Shell, D. A.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Ghoshal, Asish||Shell, Dylan A

publication date

  • May 2013