A NOVEL HYBRID NAVIGATION SCHEME FOR RECONFIGURABLE MULTI-AGENT TEAMS

J. Ren, K.A. McIsaac, and R.V. Patel

Keywords

Robot navigation, hybrid methods, potentialfield methods

Abstract

In this paper, we propose a hybrid navigation scheme for reconfigurable multi-agent teams. To accomplish a complex task such as search and rescue, agents need to frequently adjust their roles over time according to changes in the task space and in the environment. Furthermore, when exploring an unknown environment, the loss of a team member is likely and the addition of new team members to replace that loss is often necessary. Nevertheless, the loss and addition of members in the agent team should not affect the completion of the task. Our hybrid navigation scheme, consisting of a built-in reconfiguration mechanism and mode-switching navigation functions, reflects these needs by allowing an agent team to reconfigure itself to effectively complete a wide range of tasks. Our design has been implemented in C++ and has been tested by simulation in several typical tasks. We also investigate the effects of imperfect communication on the robustness of the navigation scheme.

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