Title: Efficient mechanism development for multirobot coordination
Author: J. Muralidharan, Angappa Gunasekaran, S.P. Nachiappan, A. Nivin Kumar
Department of Mechatronics, Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai 625015, Tamil Nadu, India.
Department of Decision and Information Sciences, Charlton College of Business, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth 285, Old Westport Road, North Dartmouth, MA 02747-2300, USA.
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai 625015, Tamil Nadu, India.
Department of Mechatronics, Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai 625015, Tamil Nadu, India
Abstract: Mobile robots are indispensable in computer integrated manufacturing systems which involve flexible automation. Hence robot teams working together on tasks should be made to share the workload efficiently in a cost effective manner. The current scenario is handicapped as it considers only the distance between the robots and the targets, and not much importance is given to the utilisation of the robots. This drawback can be eliminated with the adoption of the proposed methodology. This work formulates a mathematical model and presents a novel approach for multirobot coordination using combinatorial auctions in order to maximise robot utilisation while minimising incurred costs. For coordination tasks robots are considered as bidders and targets are considered as the items to be bid. A simulator has also been created for the same using Visual Basic System. The proposed mechanism is illustrated with a suitable example and the robustness of the mechanism is validated.
Keywords: combinatorial auctions; travel cost; idle cost; NP hard; multiple travelling salesman problem; MTSP; multi-robot systems; multiple robots; robot coordination; CIM systems; integrated manufacturing; robot teams; simulation.
Int. J. of Industrial and Systems Engineering, 2008 Vol.3, No.2, pp.149 - 161
Available online: 21 Jan 2008