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This work builds upon our previous work, where a swarm robot called a Groundscout was tested for its emergent behavior(s) using a system of systems framework based on discrete-event simulation and XML-based hardware in the loop simulation (HIL). This paper presents performance optimizations, bug-fixes, and implementations of new features to further examine the benefits of using HIL simulations to develop and test swarm robots. In this work, the Groundscout's communications protocols were improved, a new obstacle-avoidance algorithm was added, and the environment and simulation engines have been either re-implemented or optimized for performance. Specifically for the obstacle-avoidance algorithm, the benefits of using HIL simulations, together with the principle of model continuity, are clearly demonstrated with testing experiments. Towards the eventual goal of creating simulations for testing emergent behaviors of much larger robot swarms, considerations that were learned are presented.
Date of Conference: 27-30 June 2011