Robotic path planning is a field of research which is gaining traction given the broad domains of interest to which path planning is an important systemic requirement. The aim of path planning is to optimise the efficacy of robotic movement in a defined operational environment. For example, robots have been employed in many domains including: Cleaning robots (such as vacuum cleaners), automated paint spraying robots, window cleaning robots, forest monitoring robots, and agricultural robots (often driven using satellite and geostationary positional satellite data). Additionally, mobile robotic systems have been utilised in disaster areas and locations hazardous to humans (such as war zones in mine clearance). The coverage path planning problem describes an approach which is designed to determine the path that traverses all points in a defined operational environment while avoiding static and dynamic (moving) obstacles. In this paper we present our proposed Smooth-STC model, the aim of the model being to identify an optimal path, avoid all obstacles, prevent (or at least minimise) backtracking, and maximise the coverage in any defined operational environment. The experimental results in a simulation show that, in uncertain environments, our proposed smooth STC method achieves an almost absolute coverage rate and demonstrates improvement when measured against alternative conventional algorithms.
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