Accession Number:

ADA422502

Title:

Minimum-Resource Distributed Navigation and Mapping

Descriptive Note:

Conference paper

Corporate Author:

SPACE AND NAVAL WARFARE SYSTEMS CENTER SAN DIEGO CA

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2000-11-01

Pagination or Media Count:

9.0

Abstract:

This paper proposes a conceptual design for a distributed system of very simple robots capable of performing a useful real-world mission, such as mapping the interior of a building overnight with a swarm of hundreds of cockroach-sized robots. Presentation of this concept follows a discussion of strategies for developing distributed robotic systems. Success is dependent on making good decisions in selecting appropriate applications, in system design, and in executing the system development process. Each robot includes basic mobility, crude odometry, contact or near-contact objectobstacle detection sensors, an omnidirectional beacon probably IR, and a beacon detection sensor that can simultaneously detect multiple beacons on other robots and measure the bearing of each to less than one degree. Beacon triangulation combined with knowledge of some baseline distance allows the determination of the position of any robot relative to the others. Occlusion of a robots beacon indicates the presence of an intervening object, while lack of occlusion identifies a ray of free space. Clever deployment of large numbers of robots will permit mapping of walls and objects and can also support the detection and localization of intruders moving within the space. The object sensor can be very short range, simple, and cheap, perhaps implemented as an array of whiskers. The beacon sensor is more complex, but it can be completely tuned to the detection of the cooperating beacon. Thus, the robots need tackle no perception tasks whatsoever. System development begins with the implementation of an initial baseline system in which each robot is controlled by a central coordinating element via a high bandwidth communications link. The paper discusses the use of a swarm of robots in tactical operations inside buildings i.e., building clearance and covert reconnaissance, and presents a conceptual design for a system capable of navigating and mapping one floor of a building. 14 refs.7

Subject Categories:

  • Cybernetics
  • Military Intelligence
  • Optical Detection and Detectors
  • Radio Communications

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE