Computer Engineering | Robotics
The advantage of using a team of robots to search or to map an area is that by navigating the robots to different parts of the area, searching or mapping can be completed more quickly. A crucial aspect of the problem is the combination, or fusion, of data from team members to generate an integrated model of the search/mapping area. In prior work we looked at the issue of removing mutual robots views from an integrated point cloud model built from laser and stereo sensors, leading to a cleaner and more accurate model. This paper addresses a further challenge: Even with mutual views removed, the stereo data from a team of robots can quickly swamp a WiFi connection. This paper proposes and evaluates a communication and fusion approach based on the parallel reduction operation, where data is combined in a series of steps of increasing subsets of the team. Eight different strategies for selecting the subsets are evaluated for bandwidth requirements using three robot missions, each carried out with teams of four Pioneer 3-AT robots. Our results indicate that selecting groups to combine based on similar pose but distant location yields the best results.
Lyons, Damian M. and Leroy, Joseph, "Evaluation of Parallel Reduction Strategies for Fusion of Sensory Information from a Robot Team." (2015). Faculty Publications. 48.