Robotics: Science and Systems III

Emergent Task Allocation for Mobile Robots

Nuzhet Atay and Burchan Bayazit

Abstract: Multi-robot systems require efficient and accurate planning in order to perform mission-critical tasks. However, algorithms that find the optimal solution are usually computationally expensive and may require a large number of messages between the robots as the robots need to be aware of the global spatiotemporal information. In this paper, we introduce an emergent task allocation approach for mobile robots. Each robot uses only the information obtained from its immediate neighbors in its decision. Our technique is general enough to be applicable to any task allocation scheme as long as a utilization criteria is given. We demonstrate that our approach performs similar to the integer linear programming technique which finds the global optimal solution at the fraction of its cost. The tasks we are interested in are detecting and controlling multiple regions of interest in an unknown environment in the presence of obstacles and intrinsic constraints. The objective function contains four basic requirements of a multi-robot system serving this purpose: control regions of interest, provide communication between robots, control maximum area and detect regions of interest. Our solution determines optimal locations of the robots to maximize the objective function for small problem instances while efficiently satisfying some constraints such as avoiding obstacles and staying within the speed capabilities of the robots, and finds an approximation to global optimal solution by correlating solutions of small problems.



    AUTHOR    = {N. Atay and B. Bayazit},
    TITLE     = {Emergent Task Allocation for Mobile Robots},
    BOOKTITLE = {Proceedings of Robotics: Science and Systems},
    YEAR      = {2007},
    ADDRESS   = {Atlanta, GA, USA},
    MONTH     = {June},
    DOI       = {10.15607/RSS.2007.III.007}