Title: Feedback coordination of limited capability mobile robots

Authors: Praneel Chand, Dale A. Carnegie

Addresses: School of Engineering and Computer Science, Victoria University of Wellington (VUW), Wellington, New Zealand; School of Engineering and Physics, The University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji. ' School of Engineering and Computer Science, Victoria University of Wellington (VUW), Wellington, New Zealand

Abstract: In some multi-robot applications, such as exploration, predefined task allocation and coordination can fail to function adequately. This failure is attributed to the inability to completely model a robot|s interactions with the environment before task execution. Hence, the main focus of this paper is on a feedback coordination mechanism that executes periodically after initial task allocation. This feedback mechanism monitors the individual and group performance of worker robots. If the performance of a worker robot is unsatisfactory, a task reallocation algorithm adjusts the task-robot combinations of the team. Three cases of unsatisfactory robot performance that can be detected by the feedback mechanism include: complete failure, partial failure and poor performance. The task allocation and coordination strategy are applied to a multi-robot exploration task. Initial results from experiments in various types of environments indicate that the feedback coordination mechanism successfully identifies the three forms of robot failure, and improves the system|s performance.

Keywords: multi-robot systems; multiple robots; limited capability; task allocation; robot coordination; exploration; map building; mobile robots; feedback coordination; robot performance; robot failure.

DOI: 10.1504/IJISTA.2010.030196

International Journal of Intelligent Systems Technologies and Applications, 2010 Vol.8 No.1/2/3/4, pp.144 - 157

Available online: 11 Dec 2009 *

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