Global reconfiguration of a team of networked mobile robots among obstacles

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2016, 302 pp. 639 - 656
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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016. This paper presents a full system demonstration of dynamic sensor-based reconfiguration of a networked robot team. Robots sense obstacles in their environment locally and dynamically adapt their global geometric configuration to conform to an abstract goal shape. We present a novel two-layer planning and control algorithm for team reconfiguration that is decentralised and assumes local (neighbour-toneighbour) communication only. The approach is designed to be resource-efficient and we show experiments using a team of nine mobile robots with modest computation, communication and sensing. The robots use acoustic beacons for localisation and can sense obstacles in their local neighbourhood using IR sensors. Our results demonstrate globally specified reconfiguration from local information in a real robot network, and highlight limitations of standardmesh networks in implementing decentralised algorithms.
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