Constraint Optimization Coordination Architecture for Search and Rescue Robotics

<p>The dangerous and time sensitive nature of a disaster area makes it an ideal application for robotic exploration. Our long term goal is to enable humans, software agents, and autonomous robots to work together to save lives. Existing work in coordination for search and rescue does not address the variety of constraints that apply to the problem. This paper provides an expressive language for specifying system constraints. We also describe a coordination architecture capable of quickly finding an optimal or near optimal solution to the combined problems of task allocation, scheduling, and path planning subject to system constraints. We address a perceived lack of benchmarks for this research area by establishing a repository open to the research community which includes a set of benchmarks we designed to illustrate some of the complexities of the problem space. Finally, we evaluate various algorithms on these benchmarks.</p>