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We consider an ecology of robots in which robots can help each other by offering information-producing functionalities. A functional configuration of this ecology is a way to allocate and connect functionalities among the participating robots. In general, different configurations can be used to solve the same task, depending on the current situation, and some tasks require sequences of different configurations to be solved. In this paper, we propose a plan-based approach to automatically generate a preferred configuration for a given task, environment, and set of resources. We also describe how our configuration planner can be integrated with an action planner to deal with tasks that require sequences of configurations. We illustrate these ideas on a specific instance of an ecology of robots, called a PEIS Ecology. We also show an experiment run on our PEIS Ecology testbed, in which a sequence of configurations for an olfactory task is automatically generated and executed.
Date of Conference: 10-14 April 2007