The Toronto Intelligent Decision Engineering Laboratory
Mobile Robot Task Planning and Scheduling in Retirement Homes

Mobile Robot Task Planning and Scheduling in Retirement Homes


J. Christopher Beck
Goldie Nejat
Kyle E. C. Booth
Tony T. Tran

Project description

We study the planning and scheduling of single and multi-robot fleets to be deployed within retirement homes. Such robots must autonomously organize and facilitate a variety of group and individual activities (i.e. bingo games, telepresence activities) within the facility for a group of human users (residents). The problem of assigning tasks to robots can be thought of as an instance of multi-robot task allocation (MRTA), with an additional scheduling component (determining specific task start times).

Within this project, we investigate the use of various combinatorial optimization technologies, including mixed-integer programming (MIP) and constraint programming (CP), to solve the underlying MRTA problem. We also investigate a number of more sophisticated techniques to improve the efficiency at which high quality solutions are generated, including variable ordering heuristics, local search procedures, and problem-specific decompositions. The developed models are integrated within real-world robot architectures and physically validated at our facility at the University of Toronto, with plans for deployment in real retirement homes within Toronto.

Start date

September 2014


Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
Dr. Robot Inc.
Canada Research Chairs (CRC) Program
University of Toronto Fellowship
TIDEL Research Assistantship
Ontario Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology (OGSST)


  1. Tran, T.T., Vaquero, T., Nejat, G., & Beck J.C., Robots in Retirement Homes: Applying Off-the-Shelf Planning and Scheduling to a Team of Assistive Robots, Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, 58, 523-590, 2017.
  2. Booth, K.E.C., Nejat, G., & Beck, J.C., "A Constraint Programming Approach to Multi-Robot Task Allocation and Scheduling in Retirement Homes", Proceedings of the Twenty-Second International Conference on Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming, (CP2016), 539-555, 2016.
  3. Booth, K.E.C., Tran, T.T., Nejat, G., & Beck J.C., Mixed-Integer and Constraint Programming Techniques for Mobile Robot Task Planning, IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 1(1), 500-507, 2016.
  4. Louie, W.-Y.G., Vaquero, T.S., Nejat, G., & Beck, J.C., "An Autonomous Assistive Robot for Planning, Scheduling and Facilitating Multi-User Activities", Proceedings of the 2014 International Conference on Robotics and Automation, (ICRA2014), 5292-5298, 2014.

University of Toronto Mechanical and Information Engineering