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From design to deployment: decentralized coordination of heterogeneous robotic teams


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St-Onge, David, Varadharajan, Vivek Shankar, Svogor, Ivan and Beltrame, Giovanni. 2020. « From design to deployment: decentralized coordination of heterogeneous robotic teams ». Frontiers in Robotics and AI, vol. 7.
Compte des citations dans Scopus : 5.

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Many applications benefit from the use of multiple robots, but their scalability and applicability are fundamentally limited when relying on a central control station. Getting beyond the centralized approach can increase the complexity of the embedded software, the sensitivity to the network topology, and render the deployment on physical devices tedious and error-prone. This work introduces a software-based solution to cope with these challenges on commercial hardware. We bring together our previous work on Buzz, the swarm-oriented programming language, and the many contributions of the Robotic Operating System (ROS) community into a reliable workflow, from rapid prototyping of decentralized behaviours up to robust field deployment. The Buzz programming language is a hardware independent, domain-specific (swarm-oriented), and composable language. From simulation to the field, a Buzz script can stay unmodified and almost seamlessly applicable to all units of a heterogeneous robotic team. We present the software structure of our solution, and the swarm-oriented paradigms it encompasses. While the design of a new behaviour can be achieved on a lightweight simulator, we show how our security mechanisms enhance field deployment robustness. In addition, developers can update their scripts in the field using a safe software release mechanism. Integrating Buzz in ROS, adding safety mechanisms and granting field updates are core contributions essential to swarm robotics deployment: from simulation to the field. We show the applicability of our work with the implementation of two practical decentralized scenarios: a robust generic task allocation strategy and an optimized area coverage algorithm. Both behaviours are explained and tested with simulations, then experimented with heterogeneous ground-and-air robotic teams.

Item Type: Peer reviewed article published in a journal
St-Onge, David
Affiliation: Génie mécanique
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2020 15:29
Last Modified: 11 May 2020 15:20

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