Swarm-bots to the Rescue

We explore the problem of resource allocation in a system made up of autonomous agents that can either carry out tasks individually or, when necessary, cooperate by forming physical connections with each other. We consider a group transport scenario that involves transporting broken robots to a repair zone. Some broken robots can be transported by an individual 'rescue' robot, whereas other broken robots are heavier and therefore require the rescue robots to self-assemble into a larger and stronger composite entity. We present a distributed controller that solves this task while efficiently allocating resources. We conduct a series of real-world experiments to show that our system can i) transport separate broken robots in parallel, ii) trigger self-assembly into composite entities when necessary to overcome the physical limitations of individual agents, iii) efficiently allocate resources and iv) resolve deadlock situations.

Published in:
Proceedings of the 10th European Conf. on Artifical Life, ECAL 2009, 165-172
Presented at:
10th European Conf. on Artifical Life, ECAL 2009, Budapest, Hungary, Sept.13-16, 2009
Berlin, Germany, Springer Verlag

 Record created 2009-07-01, last modified 2018-01-28

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