Heterogeneous Multi-Robot Cooperation
This report addresses the problem of achieving cooperation within small- to medium- sized teams of heterogeneous mobile robots. I describe a software architecture I have developed, called ALLIANCE, that facilitates robust, fault tolerant, reliable, and adaptive cooperative control. In addition, an extended version of ALLIANCE, called L-ALLIANCE, is described, which incorporates a dynamic parameter update mechanism that allows teams of mobile robots to improve the efficiency of their mission performance through learning. A number of experimental results of implementing these architectures on both physical and simulated mobile robot teams are described. In addition, this report presents the results of studies of a number of issues in mobile robot cooperation, including fault tolerant cooperative control, adaptive action selection, distributed control, robot awareness of team member actions, improving efficiency through learning, inter-robot communication, action recognition, and local versus global control.