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Deep Recurrent Q-learning for Energy-constrained Coverage with a Mobile Robot

by   Aaron Zellner, et al.
University of North Florida
Kent State University

In this paper, we study the problem of coverage of an environment with an energy-constrained robot in the presence of multiple charging stations. As the robot's on-board power supply is limited, it might not have enough energy to cover all the points in the environment with a single charge. Instead, it will need to stop at one or more charging stations to recharge its battery intermittently. The robot cannot violate the energy constraint, i.e., visit a location with negative available energy. To solve this problem, we propose a deep Q-learning framework that produces a policy to maximize the coverage and minimize the budget violations. Our proposed framework also leverages the memory of a recurrent neural network (RNN) to better suit this multi-objective optimization problem. We have tested the presented framework within a 16 x 16 grid environment having charging stations and various obstacle configurations. Results show that our proposed method finds feasible solutions and outperforms a comparable existing technique.


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