N. Correll, D. Rus: Architectures and control of networked robotic systems. In: Kernbach, Serge (Ed.): Handbook of Collective Robotics, pp. 81-104, Pan Stanford, Singapore, 2013.
Networked robot systems are ensembles of robots that enhance their individual capabilities by sharing perception, computation and actuation capabilities with each other to solve problems that an individual robot could not solve alone. In this chapter, we focus on architectures and control of autonomous networked robot systems that communicate wirelessly. We will first provide an overview over current networked robot platforms spanning 3 orders of magnitude in size (from millimeter to meters in size), operation on the ground, in the air and under water, and that are networked using light, sound and radio. We will then describe classes of algorithms and their analysis used for coordination of teams of robots focusing on reactive and deliberative algorithms for sharing perception, computation, and actuation. The chapter is concluded with a summary of current challenges and promising directions.
A. Derbakova, N. Correll, D. Rus: Decentralized Self-Repair to Maintain Connectivity and Coverage in Networked Multi-Robot Systems. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), pp. 3878-3885, Shanghai, China, 2011.
 We present a suite of algorithms that enable a team of mobile robots to repair connectivity in a wireless mesh network. Each robot carries a wireless router and can act as a mobile access point. The algorithms are distributed, with each robot computing it’s trajectory using its position, the positions of its neighbors within communication range, and the position of a gateway node. The algorithms are validated via an analytical model as well as field experiments with 7 Create robots.
N. Correll, D. Rus, J. Bachrach, D. Vickery: Ad-hoc Wireless Network Coverage with Networked Robots that Cannot Localize. In: IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pp. 3878 - 3885, Kobe, Japan, 2009.
We study a fully distributed, reactive algorithm for deployment and maintenance of a mobile communication backbone that provides an area around a network gateway with wireless network access for higher-level agents. Possible applications of such a network are distributed sensor networks as well as communication support for disaster or military operations. The algorithm has minimalist requirements on the individual robotic node and does not require any localization. This makes the proposed solution suitable for deployment of large numbers of comparably cheap mobile communication nodes and as a backup solution for more capable systems in GPS-denied environments. Robots keep exploring the configuration space by random walk and stop only if their current location satisfies user-specified constraints on connectivity (number of neighbors). Resulting deployments are robust and convergence is analyzed using both kinematic simulation with a simplified collision and communication model as well as a probabilistic macroscopic model. The approach is validated on a team of 9 iRobot Create robots carrying wireless access points in an indoor environment.
J. Beal, N. Correll, L. Urbina, J. Bachrach: Behavior Modes for Randomized Robotic Coverage. In: Proceedings of the 2nd Int. Conf. on Robot Communication and Coordination (ROBOCOM), pp. 1–6, Odense, Denmark, 2009.
A basic primitive in a networked robotic swarm is to form a connected component that covers some area with relatively uniform density. Although most approaches to the problem require local coordinate information, it has been proposed that robots with only connectivity information do this instead with a generalized form of diffusion-limited aggregation, in which robots wander randomly until they find a location where their topological constraints are satisfied and they are connected to a designated seed point. We find that the behavior of the algorithm varies qualitatively along a spectrum defined by the relative size of the total area, covered area, and initial distribution of robots. We identify and analyze five representative behaviors along this spectrum, finding that fast convergence can be expected only within a small range of parameters. Further, our results suggest that general coverage algorithms may require that the robotic swarm be coordinated across long distances.

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