Towards Coordinated Multi-Robot Missions for Lunar Sample Collection in Unknown Environment
In Journal of Field Robotics, Wiley-Blackwell, volume Volume 31, number Issue 1, pages o.A., Feb/2014.
In this paper the recent results of the space project IMPERA are presented. The goal of IMPERA is the development a multi-robot planning and plan execution architecture with a focus on a lunar sample collection scenario in unknown environment. We describe the implementation and verification of different modules which are integrated into a distributed system architecture. The modules include a mission planning approach for a multi-robot system and modules for task and skill execution within a lunar use-case scenario. The skills needed for the test scenario include cooperative exploration and mapping strategies for unknown environment, the localization and classification of sample containers using a novel approach of semantic perception and the skill of transporting sample containers to a collection
point using a mobile manipulation robot. Additionally, we present our approach of a reliable communication framework which is able to deal with communication loss during the mission. The several modules are tested within several experiments in the domain of planning
and plan execution, communication, coordinated exploration, perception, and object transportation. An overall system integration is tested on a mission scenario experiment using three robots.