Time-Optimal Path Planning for Heterogeneous Robots in Swarm Manufacturing

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Stone, Ronnie F.P.
Wang, Junmin
Sha, Zhenghui

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University of Texas at Austin


Time-optimal path planning is a critical problem in any system employing mobile robots. Much of the literature on this problem operates under two major assumptions: the environment is static, and the robots’ effective shapes are constant and discretized either as a circle or a sphere, disregarding the impact of the robot’s orientation on the overall task. These assumptions are restrictive in swarm manufacturing, where the environment is dynamically changing and manufacturing robots have geometric constraints for operation. For example, robots can not only move but also change their effective shapes depending on the parts they carry or the material deposited. These variations can significantly impact the path-planning solution. In this paper, we propose a methodology to find time-optimal paths in swarm manufacturing while explicitly considering the effective and changing shapes of mobile robots and the dynamic obstacles surrounding them.


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