Hybrid Control for a Real Swarm Robotics System in an Intruder Detection Task
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- Duarte M., Gomes J., Costa V., Oliveira S.M., Christensen A.L. (2016) Hybrid Control for a Real Swarm Robotics System in an Intruder Detection Task. In: Squillero G., Burelli P. (eds) Applications of Evolutionary Computation. EvoApplications 2016. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 9598. Springer, Cham
Control design is one of the prominent challenges in the field of swarm robotics. Evolutionary robotics is a promising approach to the synthesis of self-organized behaviors for robotic swarms but it has, so far, only produced been shown in relatively simple collective behaviors. In this paper, we explore the use of a hybrid control synthesis approach to produce control for a swarm of aquatic surface robots that must perform an intruder detection task. The robots have to go to a predefined area, monitor it, detect and follow intruders, and manage their energy levels by regularly recharging at a base station. The hybrid controllers used in our experiments rely on evolved behavior primitives that are combined through a manually programmed high-level behavior arbitrator. In simulation, we show how simple modifications to the behavior arbitrator can result in different swarm behaviors that use the same underlying behavior primitives, and we show that the composed behaviors are scalable with respect to the swarm size. Finally, we demonstrate the synthesized controller in a real swarm of robots, and show that the behavior successfully transfers from simulation to reality.