What we did for our thesis was to create an adaptable and robust framework extensible to multi-robot systems. In
case you're asking what it does, we made it map out things it can
detect as obstacles. I made a GUI written in Java which can control the
robot in a nearby or remote computer. The robot detects things using
this IR proximity sensor, just a cheap low-range sensor -- taking things little by little as we were just starting out. The robot communicates with the controller via a remote wireless
connection. One feature we haven't really thought of, thanks to our
brilliant adviser, he told us to try it out as a robot with night vision
--- since it's an IR sensor it can work anywhere even without light,
the controller can see its movement in a GUI anyway.
Think of playing games like Command & Conquer and Starcraft with maps that are initially pitch black. As you explore the environment by clicking at different points in the map, the robot maps out the obstacles so you know places to avoid. If it detects an obstacle along the way, it searches for a route without an obstacle...not necessarily the shortest, though.
For the complete features of this project, I've created an infographic below for our presentation.