On comparing the power of mobile robots

Jason M. O'Kane, Steven M Lavalle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Minimalist models have been studied for a broad array of tasks in robotics. In this paper, we consider the taskcompleting power of robots in terms of the sensors and actuators with which the robot is equipped. Our goal is to understand the relative power of different sets of sensors and actuators and to determine which of these sets enable the robot to complete its task. We define robots as collections of robotic primitives and provide a formal method for comparing the sensing and actuation power of robots constructed from these primitives. This comparison, which is based on the how the robots progress through their information spaces, induces a partial order over the set of robot systems. We prove some basic properties of this partial order and then apply it to a limited-sensing version of the global localization problem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRobotics
Subtitle of host publicationScience and Systems II
EditorsGaurav S. Sukhatme, Stefan Schaal, Wolfram Burgard, Stefan Schaal, Dieter Fox
PublisherMIT Press Journals
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9780262693486
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007
Event2nd International Conference on Robotics Science and Systems, RSS 2006 - Philadelphia, United States
Duration: Aug 16 2006Aug 19 2006

Publication series

NameRobotics: Science and Systems
ISSN (Print)2330-7668
ISSN (Electronic)2330-765X


Other2nd International Conference on Robotics Science and Systems, RSS 2006
CountryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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    O'Kane, J. M., & Lavalle, S. M. (2007). On comparing the power of mobile robots. In G. S. Sukhatme, S. Schaal, W. Burgard, S. Schaal, & D. Fox (Eds.), Robotics: Science and Systems II (pp. 65-72). (Robotics: Science and Systems; Vol. 2). MIT Press Journals.