Collaborative Robotics Project

Project Description

In this project we propose an open multi-robot architecture that dramatically reduces the time to deployment and increases the utility value to the mainstream non-technical user. We describe a multi-robot behavior-based coordination architecture and argue its suitability in the context of general-purpose robot teams operating in dynamic and unpredictable environments. We formalize and describe a command fusion module for the coordination of high-level behaviors of the system. The command fusion module is interfaced to our middle-ware/compiler that generates behavior selection tips from a user specified abstract description of a scenario. A search and rescue scenario is used to illustrate the overall process and give preliminary results of the experiments performed on actual robots.


Fig.1. First version of the Robots developed at the lab

Behavior Implementation

Fig.1 shows the behavior-based control architecture of the system for a serach and rescue scenario.

Fig. 2. Search and Rescue behavior-based arhitecture

As our testbed we consider a search and rescue scenario reduced to the simple task of collaboratively finding an object and then pushing that object to a given location. We define two classes of behaviors: Single Robot Behaviors and Multi-robot Behaviors. For instance, in the search and rescue scenario, the Task Allocation behavior is a collaborative behavior. Robots need to collaborate in order to find a reasonable task allocation that takes into consideration the current state of each of the robots in a given environment. As figure 2 shows Collaborative Pushing is another collaborative behavior. Again, robots need to coordinate their actions while collaboratively transporting an extended object. Others are Single Robot behaviors, like the atomic behaviors: move forward, turn, etc.



Preliminary tests

Single robot box-pushing Interleaving Roles in Box-Pushing Scenario Collaborative Navigation Scenario


Click on images to watch the movies.


  1. Micah Lesmeister, Theodore Elhourani, Michael Marefat and John Reagan, "AN OPEN ARCHITECTURE AND MIDDLEWARE FOR COLLECTIVE ROBOT TEAMS", ITC 2004, San Diego, CA.