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Nowadays, robotic vehicles are being used in a wide range of applications and scenarios, with significant improvements over past solutions. Empowered by fast paced technological and theoretical advances, we see a trend shift towards the use of large-scale, distributed formations of robots. Indeed, multi-robot systems are now recognized as a superior answer to many problems, taking advantage of important unique features such as flexible distributed sensing and intervention abilities, complementary heterogeneity, robustness to individual failures through redundancy, scalability in time and space, smaller deployment times, reduced operational costs and improved performances.
A key capability in multi-robot autonomous systems is collaborative Simultaneous Localization and Mapping in totally or partially unknown and GPS-denied environments, which has recently attracted the interest of many researchers. By sharing information between the robots, the performance of individual agents can be significantly improved, allowing for cooperatively performing complicated tasks in different domains including surveillance, search and rescue, object manipulation, etc.