A Robust Layered Control System for a Mobile Robot

Unknown author (1985-09-01)

We describe a new architecture for controlling mobile robots. Layers of control system are built to let the robot operate at increasing levels of competence. Layers are made up of asynchronous modules which communicate over low bandwidth channels. Each module is an instance of a fairly simple computational machine. Higher level layers can subsume the roles of lower levels by suppressing their outputs. However, lower levels continue to function as higher levels are added. The result is a robust and flexible robot control system. The system is intended to control a robot that wanders the office areas of our laboratory building maps of its surroundings. In this paper we demonstrate the system controlling a detailed simulation of the robot.