University of Oulu

Martinez, E., Laguna, G., Murrieta-Cid, R. et al. A motion strategy for exploration driven by an automaton activating feedback-based controllers. Auton Robot 43, 1801–1825 (2019).

A motion strategy for exploration driven by an automaton activating feedback-based controllers

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Author: Martinez, Edgar1; Laguna, Guillermo2; Murrieta-Cid, Rafael1;
Organizations: 1Centro de Investigación en Matemáticas, CIMAT, Guanajuato, Mexico
2Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA
3CIATEC, León, Mexico
4Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, University of Oulu, Oulu, North Ostrobothnia, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 8.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2019
Publish Date: 2020-04-21


This paper addresses the problem of exploring an unknown, planar, polygonal and simply connected environment. To explore the environment, the robot follows the environment boundary. In the first part of this paper, we propose a motion policy based on simple sensor feedback and a complete exploration strategy is represented as a Moore machine. The proposed motion policy is based on the paradigm of avoiding the state estimation; there is a direct mapping from observation to control. We present the theoretical conditions guaranteeing that the robot discovers the largest possible region of the environment. In the second part of the paper, we propose an automaton that filters spurious observations to activate feedback-based controllers. We propose a practical control scheme whose objective is to maintain a desired distance between the robot and the boundary of the environment. The approach is able to deal with imprecise robot’s observations and controls, and to take into account variations in the robot’s velocities. The control scheme switches controllers according to observations obtained from the robots sensor. Our control scheme aims to maintain the continuity of angular and linear velocities of the robot in spite of the switching between controllers. All the proposed techniques have been implemented and both simulations and experiments in a real robot are presented.

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Series: Autonomous robots
ISSN: 0929-5593
ISSN-E: 1573-7527
ISSN-L: 0929-5593
Volume: 43
Issue: 7
Pages: 1801 - 1825
DOI: 10.1007/s10514-019-09835-6
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 213 Electronic, automation and communications engineering, electronics
Funding: This work was partially funded by CONACYT Projects 220796 and 264896. The authors would also like to acknowledge the financial support of Intel Corporation for the development of this work.
Copyright information: © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Autonomous Robots. The final authenticated version is available online at: