Adaptive Formation Transition of a Swarm of Mobile Robots Based on Phase Gradient
Daisuke Kurabayashi*1, Tatsuki Choh*2, Jia Cheng*3,
and Tetsuro Funato*4
*1Tokyo Institute of Technology
*3NTT Data Corporation
This paper describes an algorithm, inspired by the intelligent property of a slim mold, for adaptive formation transitions of a robot group composed of autonomous, non-labeled robots. In the proposed system, one leader robot that knows the target position guides the other robots; the other robots do not have any global information. Each individual robot is equipped with a nonlinear oscillator and a simple communication system realized by flashing LEDs. In order to control these robots, phase gradients and phase waves are used in a manner similar to those of a slime mold (amoeba). By controlling the directions the followers are heading according to the phase gradients, a swarm of robots can change its formation adaptively in an obstacle course. Not only is the algorithm formulated, but also real hardware is developed and the system design is analyzed. The proposed system was verified through simulations and real implementations of 10 autonomous mobile robots.
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