A Herd-Foraging-Based Approach to Adaptive Coverage Path Planning in Dual Environments

Junqi Zhang, Peng Zu, Kun Liu, Mengchu Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Coverage path planning (CPP) is essential for robotic tasks, such as environmental monitoring and terrain surveying, which require covering all surface areas of interest. As the pioneering approach to CPP, inspired by the concept of predation risk in predator-prey relations, the predator-prey CPP (PPCPP) has the benefit of adaptively covering arbitrary bent 2-D manifolds and can handle unexpected changes in an environment, such as the sudden introduction of dynamic obstacles. However, it can only work in bounded environment and cannot handle tasks in unbounded one, e.g., search and rescue tasks where the search boundary is unknown. Sometimes, robots are required to handle both bounded and unbounded environments, i.e., dual environments, such as capturing criminals in a city. Once encountering a building, the robot enters it to cover the bounded environment, then continues to cover the unbounded one when leaving the building. Therefore, the capability of swarm robots for the coverage tasks both in bounded and unbounded environments is important. In nature, herbivores live in groups to find more food and reduce the risk of predation. Especially the juvenile ones prefer to forage near the herd to protect themselves. Inspired by the foraging behavior of animals in a herd, this article proposes an online adaptive CPP approach that enables swarm robots to handle both bounded and unbounded environments without knowing the environmental information in advance, called dual-environmental herd-foraging-based CPP (DH-CPP). It's performance is evaluated in dual environments with stationary and dynamic obstacles of different shapes and quantity, and compared with three state-of-the-art approaches. Simulation results demonstrate that it is highly effective to handle dual environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1882-1893
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Cybernetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


  • Coverage path planning (CPP)
  • dual environments
  • herd foraging
  • swarm robots


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