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Marsupial teams of robots: deployment of miniature robots for swarm exploration under communication constraints

  • Micael S. Couceiro (a1) (a2), David Portugal (a1), Rui P. Rocha (a1) and Nuno M. F. Ferreira (a2)

Summary

Mobile Ad hoc Networks have attracted much attention in the last years, since they allow the coordination and cooperation between agents belonging to a multi-robot system. However, initially deploying autonomously a wireless sensor robot network in a real environment has not taken the proper attention. Moreover, maintaining the connectivity between agents in real and complex environments is an arduous task since the strength of the connection between two nodes (i.e., robots) can change rapidly in time or even disappear. This paper compares two autonomous and realistic marsupial strategies for initial deployment in unknown scenarios, in the context of swarm exploration: Random and Extended Spiral of Theodorus. These are based on a hierarchical approach, in which exploring agents, named scouts, are autonomously deployed through explicit cooperation with supporting agents, denoted as rangers. Experimental results with a team of heterogeneous robots are conducted using both real and virtual robots. Results show the effectiveness of the methods, using a performance metric based on dispersion. Conclusions drawn in this work pave the way for a whole series of possible new approaches.

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Corresponding author

*Corresponding author. E-mail: micaelcouceiro@isr.uc.pt

References

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Keywords

Marsupial teams of robots: deployment of miniature robots for swarm exploration under communication constraints

  • Micael S. Couceiro (a1) (a2), David Portugal (a1), Rui P. Rocha (a1) and Nuno M. F. Ferreira (a2)

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