Experimental platform for cooperative control of robot swarms
Cooperative control of robot swarms is an interesting field of research due to its many applications. These include things like search and recovery operations, exploration, surveillance and manipulation in hazardous environments etc. Depending on the application area, different control strategies have to be implemented in the agents. By combining several basic control strategies such as rendezvous (gathering at a location) and dispersion (spreading out at even distances) a more advanced behavior can be achieved.
Aim of the project
The purpose of the project is to develop an experimental platform for testing different strategies for the deployment and formation control of a group of robots, using a camera-based positioning system. The platform should be a decentralized communication network. Some of the most common formation algorithms should also be implemented on the platform. The platform should also include some collision avoidance strategies for increased robustness.
The developed platform is based around Pololu m3pi robots. Every robot has a unique glyph mounted on top of it.  A camera is mounted above the robot swarm and feeds the video to the image processing software. The software then detects the position and the heading of the glyphs. The position data is fed to virtual instances of each robot where the control signal is calculated according to different control strategies. The calculated control signals are fed via a simple serial communication interface using Pololu Wixels to the physical robots. 
Teodor Olsson, Erik Skoog, David Stenman
Gabriel R. Campos 




  Demonstration video




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