Keith L. Doty and Reid R. Harrison
In the Machine Intelligence Laboratory, University of Florida, we have built a small autonomous robot and programmed it to exhibit various reactive behaviors. The robot, named Gator, performs area coverage in an interior room by combining distinct behaviors. Gator has 26 sensors of which only 7 are used in the coverage algorithms examined here. Gator’s behaviors allow it to avoid obstacles, follow walls, seek open areas and break out of confined areas. In the limited number of experiments performed here it appears that the best coverage algorithm among those tried consisted of a random walk with a probability of 0.05 for following a wall after each encounter with an obstacle. After 20 minutes about 85% of the floor space was covered with an efficiency close to 85%.