Self-assembly on Demand in a Group of Physical Autonomous Mobile Robots Navigating Rough Terrain

  • Rehan O’Grady
  • Roderich Groß
  • Francesco Mondada
  • Michael Bonani
  • Marco Dorigo
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3630)

Abstract

Consider a group of autonomous, mobile robots with the ability to physically connect to one another (self-assemble). The group is said to exhibit functional self-assembly if the robots can choose to self-assemble in response to the demands of their task and environment [15]. We present the first robotic controller capable of functional self-assembly implemented on a real robotic platform.

The task we consider requires a group of robots to navigate over an area of unknown terrain towards a target light source. If possible, the robots should navigate to the target independently. If, however, the terrain proves too difficult for a single robot, the robots should self-assemble into a larger group entity and collectively navigate to the target.

We believe this to be one of the most complex tasks carried out to date by a team of physical autonomous robots. We present quantitative results confirming the efficacy of our controller. This puts our robotic system at the cutting edge of autonomous mobile multi-robot research.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rehan O’Grady
    • 1
  • Roderich Groß
    • 1
  • Francesco Mondada
    • 2
  • Michael Bonani
    • 2
  • Marco Dorigo
    • 1
  1. 1.IRIDIAUniversité Libre de BruxellesBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.ASLEcole Polytechnique Fédérale de LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

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