Distributed Area Search with a Team of Robots

Unknown author (2006-12-05)

MEng thesis

The main goal of this thesis is to demonstrate the applicability of the distributed systems paradigm to robotic systems. This goal is accomplished by presenting two solutions to the Distributed Area Search problem: organizing a team of robots to collaborate in the task of searching through an area. The first solution is designed for unreliable robots equipped with a reliable GPS-style localization system. This solution demonstrates the efficiency and fault-tolerance of this type of distributed robotic systems, as well as their applicability to the real world. We present a theoretically near-optimal algorithm for solving Distributed Area Search under this setting, and we also present an implementation of our algorithm on an actual system, consisting of twelve robots. The second solution is designed for a completely autonomous system, without the aid of any centralized subsystem. It demonstrates how a distributed robotic system can solve a problem that is practically unsolvable for a single-robot system.