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Tracking multiple moving targets with swarms of mobile robots

Abstract

This paper presents a distributed approach to enable mobile robot swarms to track multiple targets moving unpredictably. The proposed approach consists of two constituent algorithms: local interaction and target tracking. When the robots are faster than the targets, Lyapunov theory can be applied to show that the robots converge asymptotically to each vertex of the desired equilateral triangular configurations while tracking the targets. Toward practical implementation of the algorithms, it is important to realize the observation capability of individual robots in an inexpensive and efficient way. A new proximity sensor that we call dual rotating infrared (DRIr) sensor is developed to meet these requirements. Both our simulation and experimental results employing the proposed algorithms and DRIr sensors confirm that the proposed distributed multi-target tracking method for a swarm of robots is effective and easy to implement.

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Correspondence to Geunho Lee.

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Lee, G., Chong, N.Y. & Christensen, H. Tracking multiple moving targets with swarms of mobile robots. Intel Serv Robotics 3, 61–72 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11370-010-0059-2

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Keywords

  • Robot swarms
  • Local interactions
  • Triangle lattice
  • Target tracking
  • DRIr sensor