Gathering asynchronous robots in the presence of obstacles

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Conference Article

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Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)


This work addresses the problem of Gathering a swarm of point robots when the plane of deployment has non-intersecting transparent convex polygonal obstacles. While multiplicity detection is enough for gathering three or more asynchronous robots without obstacles, it is shown that in the presence of obstacles, gathering may not be possible even in the FSYNC model with all of multiplicity detection, memory, chirality and direction-only axis agreement. Initial configurations for which gathering is impossible are characterized. For other configurations, a distributed algorithm for the gathering problem is proposed without any extra assumption on the capabilities of the robots. The algorithm works even if the configuration contains points of multiplicities.

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