Networking Humans, Robots and Environments

Indexed in: EBSCO.

This book dives into the heart of how to design distributed control architectures for heterogeneous teams of humans, robots, and automated systems, enabling them to achieve greater cooperation and ...
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Experimental Validation of Multi-Agent Coordination by Decentralized Estimation and Control

Pp. 76-100 (25)

Michael Hwang, Matthew L. Elwin, Peng Yang, Randy A. Freeman and Kevin M. Lynch


In previous work, we developed a decentralized framework for formation control by mobile robots. Each robot simultaneously estimates the current swarm shape, by local information diffusion in a communication network, while controlling its own motion to drive the swarm to the desired shape. These continuous-time estimation and control laws result in provably correct behavior, but they make unrealistic assumptions for implementation on actual robots.

This paper describes the first experimental implementation of decentralized estimation and control based on information diffusion. We develop the hardware, software, and communication protocols that adapt the theoretical approach to an actual implementation. Experiments demonstrate that the robots successfully estimate the first and second inertial moments of the swarm, using scalable local communication, while simultaneously moving to control these moments.


Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO) and Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Northwestern University Evanston, IL 60208, USA