Multi-Target Visual Tracking with UAVs

TitleMulti-Target Visual Tracking with UAVs
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsTokekar, P, Isler, V, Franchi, A
Conference Name2014 IEEE/RSJ Int. Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems
Date Published09/2014
Conference LocationChicago, IL

We study the problem of tracking mobile targets using a team of aerial robots. Each robot carries a camera to detect targets moving on the ground. The overall goal is to plan for the trajectories of the robots in order to track the most number of targets, and accurately estimate the target locations using the images. The two objectives can conflict since a robot may fly to a higher altitude and potentially cover a larger number of targets at the expense of accuracy.
We start by showing that k ≥ 3 robots may not be able to track all n targets while maintaining a constant factor approximation of the optimal quality of tracking at all times. Next, we study the problem of choosing robot trajectories to maximize either the number of targets tracked or the quality of tracking. We formulate this problem as the weighted version of a combinatorial optimization problem known as the Maximum Group Coverage (MGC) problem. A greedy algorithm yields a 1/2 approximation for the weighted MGC problem. Finally, we evaluate the algorithm and the sensing model through simulations and preliminary experiments.

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