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This paper presents an investigation of odor localization by groups of autonomous mobile robots. First, we describe a distributed algorithm by which groups of agents can solve the full odor localization task. Next, we establish that conducting polymer-based odor sensors possess the combination of speed and sensitivity necessary to enable real world odor plume tracing and we demonstrate that simple local position, odor, and flow information, tightly coupled with robot behavior, is sufficient to allow a robot to localize the source of an odor plume. Finally, we show that elementary communication among a group of agents can increase the efficiency of the odor localization system performance.
Date of Publication: Jun 2002