A Sampling-Based Motion Planning Approach to Maintain Visibility of Unpredictable Targets

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This paper deals with the surveillance problem of computing the motions of one or more robot observers in order to maintain visibility of one or several moving targets. The targets are assumed to move unpredictably, and the distribution of obstacles in the workspace is assumed to be known in advance. Our algorithm computes a motion strategy by maximizing the shortest distance to escape—the shortest distance the target must move to escape an observer's visibility region. Since this optimization problem is intractable, we use randomized methods to generate candidate surveillance paths for the observers. We have implemented our algorithms, and we provide experimental results using real mobile robots for the single target case, and simulation results for the case of two targets-two observers.

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