Defense Event

Adaptive Communication for Mobile Multi-Robot Systems

Ryan Marcotte

Friday, February 08, 2019
10:00am - 12:00pm
3725 Beyster Building

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About the Event

Mobile multi-robot systems can be immensely powerful, serving as force multipliers for human operators in search-and-rescue operations, urban reconnaissance missions, and more. Key to fulfilling this potential is robust communication, which allows robots to share sensor data or inform others of their intentions. However, wireless communication is often unreliable for mobile multi-robot systems. Such communication exhibits losses, delays, and outages as robots move through their environment, going in and out of range of one another and past objects that obstruct or interfere with network signals. Furthermore, the wireless communication spectrum is a shared resource, and multi-robot systems must determine how to use its limited bandwidth in accomplishing their missions.

This dissertation addresses the challenges of inter-robot communication in two thrusts. In the first thrust, we improve the reliability of such communication through the application of erasure coding. Our method adapts to changing network conditions and determines the optimal amount of redundancy to apply to achieve probabilistic performance guarantees. In the second thrust, we describe a mechanism by which robots can make communication decisions by considering the expected effect of a proposed communication action on team performance. Given a finite amount of available bandwidth, this method optimizes the contents of a message to respect the bandwidth constraint.

Additional Information

Sponsor(s): Edwin Olson

Open to: Public