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Dynamic fleet mission planning

posted May 3, 2018, 6:55 AM by Mauro Bellone   [ updated May 4, 2018, 11:54 PM ]
This video illustrates our dynamic fleet mission planning method on topological maps, for autonomous underground mining operation. The video shows, at 20x the actual speed, the first hour of a four-hour shift in the mine shown in the figure below. 

Vehicles that reach a terminal (either a loading site or an offloading site) can request re-optimization, once they have completed their stationary activity (loading or offloading). At that point, the GA-based optimizer generates a new mission for the vehicle in question, while also (potentially) modifying the missions of the other vehicles. Thus, the planning method must be able to handle the fact that vehicles move during optimization and must make sure to maintain causaility, by only making changes in those parts of the missions that lie beyond the end time of the optimization procedure.

Note also that the video has been speeded up by a factor 20. The actual traversal times are on the order of 7 - 15 minutes. For this rather small mine map, with a single off-loading station, 4-5 vehicles is close to the upper limit of what is reasonable. However, in bigger maps, the fleet mission optimizer can handle larger number of vehicles as well.

More information available on the Adaptive systems research group web page.