Potential field based navigation for planetary rovers using internal states

Abdel Wahid, Mohamed Hussien Mabrouk and McInnes, C.R. (2008) Potential field based navigation for planetary rovers using internal states. In: 59th International Astronautical Congress, 2008-09-29 - 2008-10-03.

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The work in this paper aims to introduce analysis and applications for the internal state model which is a new model for a swarm of rovers interacting via pair-wise attractive and repulsive potentials. The internal state model updates the state of the art in overcoming the local minima problem through solving the problem with comparatively lower computation cost than other methods. The simulations results show that using the internal state model, a swarm of planetary rovers, rather than moving in a static potential field, are able to manipulate the potential according to their estimation of whether they are moving towards or away from the goal, which allows them to escape from and maneuver around a local minimum in the potential field to reach a goal. An application of a swarm of rovers to solve the problem for different shaped obstacles is introduced to show the efficiency of the model. The model proves stable convergence to a goal and provides similarities with the behaviour of real groups of animals.