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This paper presents a novel low-cost position detection prototype from practical design to implementation of its control schemes. This prototype is designed to provide mobile robot swarms with advanced sensing capabilities in an efficient, cost-effective way. From the observation of bats' foraging behaviors, the prototype with a particular emphasis on variable rotation range and speed, as well as 360° observation capability has been developed. The prototype also aims at giving each robot reliable information about identification of neighboring robots from objects and their positions. For this purpose, an observation algorithm-based sensor is proposed. The implementation details are explained, and the effectiveness of the control schemes is verified through extensive experiments. The sensor provides real-time location of stationary targets positioned 100 cm away within an average error of 2.6 cm. Moreover, experimental results show that the prototype observation capability can be quite satisfactory for practical use of mobile robot swarms.
Date of Publication: May 2011