Traversing Supervisor Problem: An Approximately Optimal Approach to Multi-Robot Assistance

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


The number of multi-robot systems deployed in field applications has increased dramatically over the years. Despite the recent advancement of navigation algorithms, autonomous robots often encounter challenging situations where the control policy fails and the human assistance is required to resume robot tasks. Human-robot collaboration can help achieve high-levels of autonomy, but monitoring and managing multiple robots at once by a single human supervisor remains a challenging problem. Our goal is to help a supervisor decide which robots to assist in which order such that the team performance can be maximized. We formulate the one-to-many supervision problem in uncertain environments as a dynamic graph traversal problem. An approximation algorithm based on the profitable tour problem on a static graph is developed to solve the original problem, and the approximation error is bounded and analyzed. Our case study on a simulated autonomous farm demonstrates superior team performance than baseline methods in task completion time and human working time, and that our method can be deployed in real-time for robot fleets with moderate size.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRobotics
Subtitle of host publicationScience and Systems
EditorsKris Hauser, Dylan Shell, Shoudong Huang
PublisherMIT Press Journals
ISBN (Print)9780992374785
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes
Event18th Robotics: Science and Systems, RSS 2022 - New York City, United States
Duration: Jun 27 2022 → …

Publication series

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


Conference18th Robotics: Science and Systems, RSS 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew York City
Period6/27/22 → …

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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