Toys make teamed robots

  June 2/9, 2008
Turning a pack of autonomous robots into a movable sensor network is tricky enough, but doing it in the harsh arctic environment and doing it affordably is a formidable challenge. The reward for pulling it off, however, is being able to hand scientists an important tool for monitoring and understanding climate change.

Researchers working on this problem have built robots that maintain formations over large areas and can read the hard-to-see arctic terrain. The robots are based on toy snowmobiles, which makes them rugged and inexpensive.

Research paper:
Automatic Deployment and Formation Control of Decentralized Multi-Agent Networks; A Single Camera Terrain Slope Estimation Technique for Natural Arctic Environments
2008 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), May 19-23, 2008, Pasadena, CA

Researchers' homepages:
HumAnS Lab
Magnus Egerstedt

Related stories and briefs:
Evolution trains robot teams (genetic algorithms that create software for controlling robot teams)
Cooperative robots share the load (NASA's experimental robot teams)
Sensors net tree data (sensor networks used for scientific research)

Back to TRN June 2/9, 2008

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