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In this paper, we investigate the operation of the queue-formation structure (or Q-structure) in multirobot teams with limited communication. Information flow can be divided into two time scales: (1) the fast-time scale where the robots' reactive actions are determined based only on local communication and (2) the slow-time scale, where information required is less demanding, can be collected over a longer time, and intermittent information loss can be afforded. Therefore, there is no need for global information at all times, reducing the overall communication load. In addition, a dynamic target determination algorithm, based on the Q-structure, is used to produce a series of targets that incrementally guide each robot into formation. It provides greater control over the distance between robots on the same queue, instead of relying on inter robot repulsive distance, and, allows better formation scaling. An analysis of the convergence of the system of robots and realistic simulation studies are provided.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2007