Swarm-Bots to the Rescue

  • Rehan O’Grady
  • Carlo Pinciroli
  • Roderich Groß
  • Anders Lyhne Christensen
  • Francesco Mondada
  • Michael Bonani
  • Marco Dorigo
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5777)

Abstract

We explore the problem of resource allocation in a system made up of autonomous agents that can either carry out tasks individually or, when necessary, cooperate by forming physical connections with each other. We consider a group transport scenario that involves transporting broken robots to a repair zone. Some broken robots can be transported by an individual ‘rescue’ robot, whereas other broken robots are heavier and therefore require the rescue robots to self-assemble into a larger and stronger composite entity. We present a distributed controller that solves this task while efficiently allocating resources. We conduct a series of real-world experiments to show that our system can i) transport separate broken robots in parallel, ii) trigger self-assembly into composite entities when necessary to overcome the physical limitations of individual agents, iii) efficiently allocate resources and iv) resolve deadlock situations.

Keywords

self-assembly task allocation swarm intelligence search and rescue cooperation group transport autonomous robots multi-robot systems swarm robotics 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rehan O’Grady
    • 1
  • Carlo Pinciroli
    • 1
  • Roderich Groß
    • 2
  • Anders Lyhne Christensen
    • 3
  • Francesco Mondada
    • 2
  • Michael Bonani
    • 2
  • Marco Dorigo
    • 1
  1. 1.IRIDIA, CoDE, Université Libre de BruxellesBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.LSRO, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de LausanneLausanneSwitzerland
  3. 3.DCTI, Lisbon University InstituteLisbonPortugal

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