I'm currently working on a school project about simulating robots scanning an area, but it has been a struggle to find what strategy the robots should use. Here are the details:

I am given a certain amount of robots, each with a sensing range of $r$. They spawn one after another. Their task to scan a rectangular area. They can only communicate with each other when they are within communication range.

I am looking for the best strategy, (i.e. time efficient solution) for this. Any reply or clue to the strategy will be appreciated.

  • $\begingroup$ What does it mean to "scan", and why do they need to communicate? Is there multihop communication? This is a very broad question. $\endgroup$
    – Ian
    Commented May 18, 2014 at 22:18
  • $\begingroup$ You'll need to give us some more info here 1. What's the range of a single robot? 2. What's the size of the area? Can be expressed in the units of range. 3. How quickly does the robot scan the given area? 4. How quickly does the robot move between two points? 5. Do you get to choose the spawn points of the robots? $\endgroup$
    – user4425
    Commented May 20, 2014 at 9:12

1 Answer 1


Distributed cooperative coverage algorithms for robots sounds like an area of active research. I suggest looking at some academic papers. Here are a few to get you started:

Multirobot Cooperative Model applied to Coverage of Unknown Regions

Cooperative Coverage of Rectilinear Environments


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