A Time-Space Network Model for Collision-free Routing of Planar Motions in a Multi-Robot Station

Jianbin Xin, Chuang Meng, Frederik Schulte, Jinzhu Peng, Yanhong Liu, Rudy Negenborn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
52 Downloads (Pure)


This article investigates a new collision-free routing problem of a multirobot system. The objective is to minimize the cycle time of operation tasks for each robot while avoiding collisions. The focus is set on the operation of the end-effector and its connected joint, and the operation is projected onto a circular area on the plane. We propose to employ a time-space network (TSN) model that maps the robot location constraints into the route planning framework, leading to a mixed integer programming (MIP) problem. A dedicated genetic algorithm is proposed for solving this MIP problem and a new encoding scheme is designed to fit the TSN formulation. Simulation experiments indicate that the proposed model can obtain the collision-free route of the considered multirobot system. Simulation results also show that the proposed genetic algorithm can provide fast and high-quality solutions, compared to two state-of-the-art commercial solvers and a practical approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6413-6422
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care

Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Multi-robot systems
  • routing
  • time-space network model
  • collision avoidance


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