Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

First Advisor's Name

Leonardo Bobadilla

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Bogdan Carbunar

Second Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Ning Xie

Third Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Wei Zeng

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Fifth Advisor's Name

Ali Mostafavi

Fifth Advisor's Committee Title

committee member


Robotics, Distributed Robots, Networked Robots, Motion Planning, Robot Algorithms, Simulations, Relay Communication, Visibility Network, Multi-Objective A*, RRT* Path Planning, Construction Safety

Date of Defense



Many robotic systems are remotely operated nowadays that require uninterrupted connection and safe mission planning. Such systems are commonly found in military drones, search and rescue operations, mining robotics, agriculture, and environmental monitoring. Different robotic systems may employ disparate communication modalities such as radio network, visible light communication, satellite, infrared, Wi-Fi. However, in an autonomous mission where the robots are expected to be interconnected, communication constrained environment frequently arises due to the out of range problem or unavailability of the signal. Furthermore, several automated projects (building construction, assembly line) do not guarantee uninterrupted communication, and a safe project plan is required that optimizes collision risks, cost, and duration. In this thesis, we propose four pronged approaches to alleviate some of these issues: 1) Communication aware world mapping; 2) Communication preserving using the Line-of-Sight (LoS); 3) Communication aware safe planning; and 4) Multi-Objective motion planning for navigation.

First, we focus on developing a communication aware world map that integrates traditional world models with the planning of multi-robot placement. Our proposed communication map selects the optimal placement of a chain of intermediate relay vehicles in order to maximize communication quality to a remote unit. We also vi propose an algorithm to build a min-Arborescence tree when there are multiple remote units to be served. Second, in communication denied environments, we use Line-of-Sight (LoS) to establish communication between mobile robots, control their movements and relay information to other autonomous units. We formulate and study the complexity of a multi-robot relay network positioning problem and propose approximation algorithms that restore visibility based connectivity through the relocation of one or more robots. Third, we develop a framework to quantify the safety score of a fully automated robotic mission where the coexistence of human and robot may pose a collision risk. A number of alternate mission plans are analyzed using motion planning algorithms to select the safest one. Finally, an efficient multi-objective optimization based path planning for the robots is developed to deal with several Pareto optimal cost attributes.







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