Krishnanand, KN and Ghose, Debasish (2005) Formations of minimalist mobile robots using local-templates and spatially distributed interactions. In: Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 53 (3&4). pp. 194-213.
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In this paper we address the problem of synthesizing simple rules and local interactions at the individual level so that prespecified complex behavior emerges at the group level of a collection of autonomous mobile agents. Usually, the emergent Collective behavior is used to perform certain spatial group-tasks. Specifically, we consider self-assembling of a group of mobile robots into grid, line, and wedge patterns. We introduce the notion of local-templates in which each mobile agent - capable of simple forward/backward movements and a clock-wise/counter clock-wise spin - actively encodes distinctive information into multiple non-overlapping sectorial regions of the surrounding environment in order to form pose-specific virtual links with similar minimalist agents in a local neighborhood. The resulting local patterns around each agent lead to the desired global formation. In order to take mobile robots closer to their biological counterparts, there is a need to further simplify the manner in which they currently perceive their surroundings, communicate with their neighbors, and compute their actions. We have built a robotic platform consisting of four wheeled-mobile robots that are christened as Kinbots. They are similar in principle to Braitenberg Vehicles and use simple perception/interaction/actuation techniques to achieve individual vehicle complexity and produce effective group behavior through cooperation. To validate the proposed approach, we demonstrate a column-formation task in Computer simulations and physical experiments. We illustrate an experiment which is representative of various prominent stages in a group-formation task such as formation-achievement, maintenance, and response of formation movement to the presence of obstacles.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Additional Information:||Copyright for this article belongs to Elsevier.|
|Keywords:||Emergent behavior; Group formations; Kinbots; Multi-robot coordination; Collective robotics|
|Department/Centre:||Division of Mechanical Sciences > Aerospace Engineering (Formerly, Aeronautical Engineering)|
|Date Deposited:||18 Jan 2006|
|Last Modified:||19 Sep 2010 04:22|
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