Scalable Multi-Robot Motion Planning for Congested Environments With Topological Guidance

Courtney Mcbeth, James Motes, Diane Uwacu, Marco Morales, Nancy M. Amato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multi-robot motion planning (MRMP) is the problem of finding collision-free paths for a set of robots in a continuous state space. The difficulty of MRMP increases with the number of robots and is exacerbated in environments with narrow passages that robots must pass through, like warehouse aisles where coordination between robots is required. In single-robot settings, topology-guided motion planning methods have shown improved performance in these constricted environments. In this work, we extend an existing topology-guided single-robot motion planning method to the multi-robot domain to leverage the improved efficiency provided by topological guidance. We demonstrate our method's ability to efficiently plan paths in complex environments with many narrow passages, scaling to robot teams of size up to 25 times larger than existing methods in this class of problems. By leveraging knowledge of the topology of the environment, we also find higher-quality solutions than other methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6867-6874
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Path planning for multiple mobile robots or agents
  • motion and path planning
  • multi-robot systems

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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