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Proceedings Paper

Cooperative target convergence using multiple agents
Author(s): Kwan S. Kwok; Brian J. Driessen
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Paper Abstract

This work considers the problem of causing multiple (100s) autonomous mobile robots to converge to a target and provides a 'follow-the-leader' approach to the problem. Each robot has only a limited-range sensor for sensing the target and also larger but also limited-range robot-to-robot communication capability. Because of the small amount of information available to the robots, a practical approach to improve convergence to the target is to have a robot follow the robot with the best quality of information. Specifically, each robot emits a signal that informs in-range robots what its status is. A robot has a status value of 0 if it is itself in range of the target. A robot has a status of 1 if it is not in range of the target but is in communication range of a robot that is in range of the target. A robot has a status of 2 if it is not in range of the target but is within range of another robot that has status 1, and so on. Of all the mobile robots that any given robot is in range of, it follows the one with the best status. The emergent behavior is the ant-like trails of robots following each other toward the target. If the robot is not in range of another robot that is either in range of the target or following another robot, the robot will assign -1 to its quality-of-information, and will execute an exhaustive search. The exhaustive search will continue until it encounters either the target or another robot with a nonnegative quality-of-information. The quality of information approach was extended to the case where each robot only has two-bit signals informing it of distance to in-range robots.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 September 1997
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3209, Sensor Fusion and Decentralized Control in Autonomous Robotic Systems, (22 September 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.287652
Show Author Affiliations
Kwan S. Kwok, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Brian J. Driessen, Sandia National Labs. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3209:
Sensor Fusion and Decentralized Control in Autonomous Robotic Systems
Paul S. Schenker; Gerard T. McKee, Editor(s)

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