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Journal of Robotics
Volume 2015, Article ID 921370, 17 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/921370
Research Article

The COMRADE System for Multirobot Autonomous Landmine Detection in Postconflict Regions

1Computer Science Department, University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE 68182, USA
2Mechanical Engineering Department, NIT, Surathkal, Karnataka 575025, India
3Computer Science Department, INAOE, 72840 Puebla, PUE, Mexico
4Computer Science Department, Allegheny College, Meadville, PA 16335, USA

Received 14 August 2014; Accepted 12 January 2015

Academic Editor: Giovanni Muscato

Copyright © 2015 Prithviraj Dasgupta et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

We consider the problem of autonomous landmine detection using a team of mobile robots. Previous research on robotic landmine detection mostly employs a single robot equipped with a landmine detection sensor to detect landmines. We envisage that the quality of landmine detection can be significantly improved if multiple robots are coordinated to detect landmines in a cooperative manner by incrementally fusing the landmine-related sensor information they collect and then use that information to visit locations of potential landmines. Towards this objective, we describe a multirobot system called COMRADES to address different aspects of the autonomous landmine detection problem including distributed area coverage to detect and locate landmines, information aggregation to fuse the sensor information obtained by different robots, and multirobot task allocation (MRTA) to enable different robots to determine a suitable sequence to visit locations of potential landmines while reducing the time required and battery expended. We have used commercially available all-terrain robots called Coroware Explorer that are customized with a metal detector to detect metallic objects including landmines, as well as indoor Corobot robots, both in simulation and in physical experiments, to test the different techniques in COMRADES.