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On control under communicaiton constraints in autonomous multi-robot systems
KTH, Superseded Departments, Signals, Sensors and Systems.
2004 (English)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Multi-robot systems have important applications, such as space explorations, underwater missions, and surveillance operations. In most of these cases robots need to exchange data through communication. Limitations in the communication system however impose constraints on the design of coordination strategies. In this thesis we present three papers on cooperative control problems in which different communication constraints are considered. The first paper describes a rendezvous problem for a team of robots that exchanges position information through communication. A local control law for each robot should steer the team to a common meeting point when communicated data are quantized. The robots are not equipped with any sensors so the positions of other teammates are not measured. Two different types of quantized communication are considered: uniform and logarithmic. Logarithmic quantization is often preferable since it requires that fewer bits are communicated compared to when uniform quantization is used. For a class of feasible communication topologies, control laws that solve the rendezvous problem are derived. A hierarchical control structure is proposed in the second paper, for modelling autonomous underwater vehicles employed in finding a minimum of a scalar field. The controller is composed of two layers. The upper layer is the team controller, which is modeled as discrete-event system. It generates waypoints based on the simplex search optimization algorithm. The waypoints are used as target points by the lower control layer, which continuously steers each vehicle from the current to the next waypoint. It is shown that the communication of measurements is needed at each step for the team controller to generate unique waypoints. A protocol is proposed to reduce the amount of data to be exchanged, motivated by that underwater communication is costly in terms of energy. In the third paper, a probabilistic pursuit{evasion game is considered as an example to study constrained communication in multi-robot systems. This system can be used to model search-and-rescue operations and multi-robot exploration. Communication protocols based on time-triggered and event-triggered synchronization schemes are considered. It is shown that by limiting the communication to events when the probabilistic map updated by the individual pursuer contains new information, as measured by a map entropy, the utilization of the communication link can be considerably improved compared to conventional time-triggered communication.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Signaler, sensorer och system , 2004. , viii, 104 p.
Trita-S3-REG., ISSN 1404-2150 ; 0403
National Category
Signal Processing
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-570ISBN: 91-7283-885-XOAI: diva2:14465
2004-11-24, albspe@s3.kth.se2, V2, Teknikringen 76, Stockholm, 00:00
Available from: 2005-12-22 Created: 2005-12-22 Last updated: 2012-03-21

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