The application of autonomous robots in search and rescue missions represents a complex task which requires a robot to make robust decisions in unknown and dangerous environments. However, imprecise robot movements and small measurement errors obtained by robot sensors can have an impact on the autonomous environment exploration quality, and therefore, should be addressed while designing search and rescue (SAR) robots. In this paper, a novel frontier evaluation strategy is proposed, that address technical, economic, social, and environmental factors of the sustainable environment exploration process, and a new extension of the weighted aggregated sum product assessment (WASPAS) method, modelled under interval-valued neutrosophic sets (IVNS), is introduced for autonomous mobile robots. The general-purpose Pioneer 3-AT robot platform is applied in simulated search and rescue missions, and the conducted experimental assessment shows the proposed method efficiency in commercial and public-type building exploration. By addressing the estimated measurement errors in the initial data obtained by the robot sensors, the proposed decision-making framework provides additional reliability for comparing and ranking candidate frontiers. The interval-valued multi-criteria decision-making method combined with the proposed frontier evaluation strategy enables the robot to exhaustively explore and map smaller SAR mission environments as well as ensure robot safety and efficient energy consumption in relatively larger public-type building environments.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.