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Active strategies for coordination of solitary robots

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This thesis considers the problem of search of an unknown environment by multiple solitary robots: self-interested robots without prior knowledge about each other, and with restricted perception and communication capacity. When solitary robots accidentally interact with each other, they can leverage each other’s information to work more effectively. In this thesis, we consider three problems related to the treatment of solitary robots: coordination, construction of a view of the network formed when robots interact, and classifier fusion. Coordination is the key focus for search and rescue. The other two problems are related areas inspired by the problems we encountered while developing our coordination method. We propose a coordination strategy based on cellular decomposition of the search environment, which provides sustainable performance when a known available search time (bound) is insufficient to cover the entire search environment. A sustainable performance is achieved when robots that know about each other explore non-overlapping regions. For network construction, we propose modifications to a scalable decentralised method for constructing a model of network topology which reduces the number of messages exchanged between interacting nodes. The method has wider potential application than mobile robotics. For classifier fusion, we propose an iterative method where outputs of classifiers are combined without using any further information about the behaviour of the individual classifiers. Our approaches for each of these problems are compared to state-of-the-art methods.

Full work can be found here.

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