Verification of Acoustic-Wave-Oriented Simple State Estimation and Application to Swarm Navigation
Tomoha Kida, Yuichiro Sueoka, Hiro Shigeyoshi, Yusuke Tsunoda, Yasuhiro Sugimoto, and Koichi Osuka
2-1 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan
Cooperative swarming behavior of multiple robots is advantageous for various disaster response activities, such as search and rescue. This study proposes an idea of communication of information between swarm robots, especially for estimating the orientation and direction of each robot, to realize decentralized group behavior. Unlike the conventional camera-based systems, we developed robots equipped with a speaker array system and a microphone system to utilize the time difference of arrival (TDoA). Sound waves outputted by each robot was used to estimate the relative direction and orientation. In addition, we attempt to utilize two characteristics of sound waves in our experiments, namely, diffraction and superposition. This paper also investigates the accuracy of state estimation in cases where the robots output sounds simultaneously and are not visible to each other. Finally, we applied our method to achieve behavioral control of a swarm of five robots, and demonstrated that the leader robot and follower robots exhibit good alignment behavior. Our methodology is useful in scenarios where steps or obstacles are present, in which cases camera-based systems are rendered unusable because they require each robot to be visible to each other in order to collect or share information. Furthermore, camera-based systems require expensive devices and necessitate high-speed image processing. Moreover, our method is applicable for behavioral control of swarm robots in water.
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