Interaction Templates for Multi-Robot Systems

James Motes, Read Sandstrom, Will Adams, Tobi Ogunyale, Shawna Thomas, Nancy M. Amato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This letter describes a framework for multi-robot problems that require or utilize interactions between robots. Solutions consider interactions on a motion planning level to determine the feasibility and cost of the multi-robot team solution. Modeling these problems with current integrated task and motion planning (TMP) approaches typically requires reasoning about the possible interactions and checking many of the possible robot combinations when searching for a solution. We present a multi-robot planning method called Interaction Templates (ITs), which moves certain types of robot interactions from the task planner to the motion planner. ITs model interactions between a set of robots with a small roadmap. This roadmap is then tiled into the environment and connected to the robots' individual roadmaps. The resulting combined roadmap allows interactions to be considered by the motion planner. We apply ITs to homogeneous and heterogeneous robot teams under both required and optional cooperation scenarios, which previously required a task planning method. We show improved performance over a current TMP planning approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8737744
Pages (from-to)2926-2933
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2019


  • Multi-robot systems
  • cooperating robots
  • motion and path planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Control and Optimization
  • Artificial Intelligence


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