Multi-objective heuristics applied to robot task planning for inspection plants
Robotics are generally subject to stringent operational conditions that impose a high degree of criticality on the allocation of resources and the schedule of operations in mission planning. In this regard the so-called cost of a mission must be considered as an additional criterion when designing optimal task schedules within the mission at hand. Such a cost can be conceived as the impact of the mission on the robotic resources themselves, which range from the consumption of battery to other negative effects such as mechanic erosion. This manuscript focuses on this issue by presenting experimental results obtained over realistic scenarios of two heuristic solvers (MOHS and NSGA-II) aimed at efficiently scheduling tasks in robotic swarms that collaborate together to accomplish a mission. The heuristic techniques resort to a Random-Keys encoding strategy to represent the allocation of robots to tasks whereas the relative execution order of such tasks within the schedule of certain robots is computed based on the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP). Experimental results in three different deployment scenarios reveal the goodness of the proposed technique based on the Multi-objective Harmony Search algorithm (MOHS) in terms of Hypervolume (HV) and Coverage Rate (CR) performance indicators.