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Despite more than a decade of experimental work in multi-robot systems, important theoretical aspects of multi-robot coordination mechanisms have, to date, been largely untreated. To address this issue, we focus on the problem of multi-robot task allocation (MRTA). Most work on MRTA has been ad hoc and empirical, with many coordination architectures having(More)
key to utilizing the potential of multirobot systems is cooperation. How can we achieve cooperation in systems composed of failure-prone autonomous robots operating in noisy, dynamic environments? In this paper, we present a novel method of dynamic task allocation for groups of such robots. We implemented and tested an auction-based task allocation system(More)
Successful distributed sensing and control require data to flow effectively between sensors, processors and actu-ators on single robots, in groups and across the Inter-net. We propose a mechanism for achieving this flow that we have found to be powerful and easy to use; we call it Player. Player combines an efficient message protocol with a simple device(More)
— We seek to make robot programming more efficient by developing a standard abstract interface for robot hardware, based on familiar techniques from operating systems and network engineering. This paper describes the application of three well known abstractions, the character device model, the interface/driver model, and the client/server model to this(More)
Important theoretical aspects of multi-robot coordination mechanisms have, to date, been largely ignored. To address part of this negligence, we focus on the problem of multi-robot task allocation. We give a formal, domain-independent, statement of the problem and show it to be an instance of another, well-studied, optimization problem. In this light, we(More)
— This paper describes a navigation system that allowed a robot to complete 26.2 miles of autonomous navigation in a real office environment. We present the methods required to achieve this level of robustness, including an efficient Voxel-based 3D mapping algorithm that explicitly models unknown space. We also provide an open-source implementation of the(More)
We study a form of the pursuit-evasion problem, in which one or more searchers must move through a given environment so as to guarantee detection of any and all evaders, which can move arbitrarily fast. Our goal is to develop techniques for coordinating teams of robots to execute this task in application domains such as clearing a building, for reasons of(More)
We present a distributed planar object manipulation algorithm inspired by human behavior. The system, which we call pusher-watcher, enables the cooperative manipulation of large objects by teams of autonomous mobile robots. The robots are not equipped with gripping devices, but instead move objects by pushing against them. The pusher robots have no global(More)
— We describe an autonomous robotic system capable of navigating through an office environment, opening doors along the way, and plugging itself into electrical outlets to recharge as needed. We demonstrate through extensive experimentation that our robot executes these tasks reliably, without requiring any modification to the environment. We present robust(More)