RBE MS Thesis Defense: Dynamic Task Allocation in Robot Swarms with Limited Buffer and Energy Constraints - Janani Mohan

Wednesday, April 25, 2018
10:00 am to 11:00 am
Floor/Room #: 
2nd Floor, Conf. Rm #209

MS Thesis Defense

Janani Mohan

Dynamic Task Allocation in Robot Swarms with
Limited Buffer and Energy Constraints

Abstract:   Area exploration and information gathering is one of the fundamental problems in mobile robotics.  Much of the current research in swarm robotics is aimed at developing practical solutions to this problem.  Exploring large environments poses three main challenges.  Firstly, there is the problem of limited connectivity among the robots.  Secondly, each of the robots have limited battery life which requires the robots to be recharged each time they run out of charge and lastly, the robots have limited buffer to store data.  In this work, we mainly focus on the memory and energy constraints of the robot swarm.  These constraints force the robots to travel to a centralized data collection center called sink, to deposit data each time their memory is full and to the charging station called dock to recharge when their battery level is low.  But this navigation plan is inefficient in terms of energy and time.

In this work, we propose to study an algorithm to tackle this scenario in a decentralized manner.  We implement a dynamic task allocation algorithm which accomplishes the goal of exploration with data gathering by assigning roles to robots based on their memory buffer and energy levels.  The algorithm assigns two sets of roles, to the entire group of robots, namely: Role A is the data gatherer, a robot which does the task of work-space exploration and data gathering, and Role B is data relayer, a robot which does the task of data transportation from data gatherers to the sink.  By this division of labor, the robots dynamically decide which role to choose given the contradicting goals of maximizing data gathering and minimizing energy loss.  The choice of a robot to perform the task of data gathering or data relaying is the key problem tackled in this work.  We study the performance of the algorithm in terms of task distribution, time spent by the robots on each task and data throughput.

Committee Members:
Prof.  Carlo Pinciroli, Thesis Advisor
Prof.  Michael Gennert
Prof.  William Michalson

Wednesday, April 25, 2018
10:00 a.m.  – 11:00 a.m.
85 Prescott St., RBE Conf. Rm #209

Teresa Hemple