Convergence of autonomous mobile robots with inaccurate sensors and movements

Reuven Cohen, David Peleg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


A number of recent studies concern algorithms for distributed control and coordination in systems of autonomous mobile robots. The common theoretical model adopted in these studies assumes that the positional input of the robots is obtained by perfectly accurate visual sensors, that robot movements are accurate, and that internal calculations performed by the robots on (real) coordinates are perfectly accurate as well. The current paper concentrates on the effect of weakening this rather strong set of assumptions and replacing it with the more realistic assumption that the robot sensors, movement, and internal calculations may have slight inaccuracies. Specifically, the paper concentrates on the ability of robot systems with inaccurate sensors, movements, and calculations to carry out the task of convergence. The paper presents several impossibility theorems, limiting the inaccuracy levels that still allow convergence, and prohibiting a general algorithm for gathering, namely, meeting at a point, in a finite number of steps. The main positive result is an algorithm for convergence under bounded measurement, movement, and calculation errors.,

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-302
Number of pages27
JournalSIAM Journal on Computing
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008


  • Autonomous robots
  • Fault tolerance
  • Inaccurate sensors


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