Professor Edwin Olson (KB0IJO) gave a talk on Multi-robot Communication and Coordination for the MAGIC 2010 Robotics Competition during our meeting on March 11, 2010 at 6:30pm in EECS 3433. You can find out more about him from his website.
~~~~~~~ Abstract of the talk ~~~~~~~
Addressing a desire to replace humans with robots in dangerous combat situations, the Department of Defense has organized a robotics competition to accelerate the development of autonomous robotics algorithms. The APRIL robotics lab, in the University of Michigan’s Computer Science and Engineering department, is competing with a team of robots capable of autonomously exploring and mapping an urban environment (indoors and outdoors), identifying and pursuing suspects, and disarming improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Using a large number of robots allows the system to complete missions more rapidly, but creates a number of coordination and communication challenges. In this talk, I will give an overview of the competition, as well as describe how our robots coordinate. I will address several engineering issues critical to success, including message passing protocols, packet routing, and how we make use of a heterogeneous set of radios on each robot.