Towards Coordinated Multirobot Missions for Lunar Sample Collection in an Unknown Environment



In this paper, the recent results of the space project IMPERA are presented. The goal of IMPERA is the development of a multirobot planning and plan execution architecture with a focus on a lunar sample collection scenario in an unknown environment. We describe the implementation and verification of different modules that are integrated into a distributed system architecture. The modules include a mission planning approach for a multirobot system and modules for task and skill execution within a lunar use-case scenario. The skills needed for the test scenario include cooperative exploration and mapping strategies for an unknown environment, the localization and classification of sample containers using a novel approach of semantic perception, and the skill of transporting sample containers to a collection point using a mobile manipulation robot. Additionally, we present our approach of a reliable communication framework that can deal with communication loss during the mission. Several modules are tested within several experiments in the domain of planning and plan execution, communication, coordinated exploration, perception, and object transportation. An overall system integration is tested on a mission scenario experiment using three robots.