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Proceedings of the IEEE

Issue 9 • Date Sept. 2011

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Displaying Results 1 - 16 of 16
  • [Front cover]

    Page(s): C1
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  • Proceedings of the IEEE publication information

    Page(s): C2
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  • Table of contents

    Page(s): 1461
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  • Towards a Specialized Search Engine for Language Learners [Point of View]

    Page(s): 1462 - 1465
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  • Special Issue on Swarming in Natural and Engineered Systems [Scanning the Issue]

    Page(s): 1466 - 1469
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  • Experimental Study and Modeling of Group Retrieval in Ants as an Approach to Collective Transport in Swarm Robotic Systems

    Page(s): 1470 - 1481
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1020 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Group food retrieval in some ant species serves as a useful paradigm for multirobot collective transport strategies that are decentralized, scalable, and do not require a priori information about the payload. We present a comprehensive overview of group retrieval in ants and investigate this phenomenon in Aphaenogaster cockerelli in order to extract the ants' roles during transport, the rules that govern their actions, and the individual forces that they apply to guide a food item to their nest. To measure these forces, we fabricated elastic structures with calibrated stiffness properties, induced ants to retrieve the structures, and tracked the resulting deformations with a camera. We then developed a hybrid system model of the ant behaviors that were observed in the experiments. We conducted simulations of the behavioral model that incorporate a quasi-static model of planar manipulation with compliant attachment points. Our simulations qualitatively replicate individual ant activity as well as certain macroscopic features of the transport. View full abstract»

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  • Dynamic Vehicle Routing for Robotic Systems

    Page(s): 1482 - 1504
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1200 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Recent years have witnessed great advancements in the science and technology of autonomy, robotics, and networking. This paper surveys recent concepts and algorithms for dynamic vehicle routing (DVR), that is, for the automatic planning of optimal multivehicle routes to perform tasks that are generated over time by an exogenous process. We consider a rich variety of scenarios relevant for robotic applications. We begin by reviewing the basic DVR problem: demands for service arrive at random locations at random times and a vehicle travels to provide on-site service while minimizing the expected wait time of the demands. Next, we treat different multivehicle scenarios based on different models for demands (e.g., demands with different priority levels and impatient demands), vehicles (e.g., motion constraints, communication, and sensing capabilities), and tasks. The performance criterion used in these scenarios is either the expected wait time of the demands or the fraction of demands serviced successfully. In each specific DVR scenario, we adopt a rigorous technical approach that relies upon methods from queueing theory, combinatorial optimization, and stochastic geometry. First, we establish fundamental limits on the achievable performance, including limits on stability and quality of service. Second, we design algorithms, and provide provable guarantees on their performance with respect to the fundamental limits. View full abstract»

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  • Deterministic Gossiping

    Page(s): 1505 - 1524
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (380 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    For the purposes of this paper, “gossiping” is a distributed process whose purpose is to enable the members of a group of autonomous agents to asymptotically determine, in a decentralized manner, the average of the initial values of their scalar gossip variables. This paper discusses several different deterministic protocols for gossiping which avoid deadlocks and achieve consensus under different assumptions. First considered is T-periodic gossiping which is a gossiping protocol which stipulates that each agent must gossip with the same neighbor exactly once every T time units. Among the results discussed is the fact that if the underlying graph characterizing neighbor relations is a tree, convergence is exponential at a worst case rate which is the same for all possible T -periodic gossip sequences associated with the graph. Many gossiping protocols are request based which means simply that a gossip between two agents will occur whenever one of the two agents accepts a request to gossip placed by the other. Three deterministic request-based protocols are discussed. Each is guaranteed to not deadlock and to always generate sequences of gossip vectors which converge exponentially fast. It is shown that worst case convergence rates can be characterized in terms of the second largest singular values of suitably defined doubly stochastic matrices. View full abstract»

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  • Graph-theoretic connectivity control of mobile robot networks

    Page(s): 1525 - 1540
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (890 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In this paper, we provide a theoretical framework for controlling graph connectivity in mobile robot networks. We discuss proximity-based communication models composed of disk-based or uniformly-fading-signal-strength communication links. A graph-theoretic definition of connectivity is provided, as well as an equivalent definition based on algebraic graph theory, which employs the adjacency and Laplacian matrices of the graph and their spectral properties. Based on these results, we discuss centralized and distributed algorithms to maintain, increase, and control connectivity in mobile robot networks. The various approaches discussed in this paper range from convex optimization and subgradient-descent algorithms, for the maximization of the algebraic connectivity of the network, to potential fields and hybrid systems that maintain communication links or control the network topology in a least restrictive manner. Common to these approaches is the use of mobility to control the topology of the underlying communication network. We discuss applications of connectivity control to multirobot rendezvous, flocking and formation control, where so far, network connectivity has been considered an assumption. View full abstract»

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  • Eyes in the Sky: Decentralized Control for the Deployment of Robotic Camera Networks

    Page(s): 1541 - 1561
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1139 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper presents a decentralized control strategy for positioning and orienting multiple robotic cameras to collectively monitor an environment. The cameras may have various degrees of mobility from six degrees of freedom, to one degree of freedom. The control strategy is proven to locally minimize a novel metric representing information loss over the environment. It can accommodate groups of cameras with heterogeneous degrees of mobility (e.g., some that only translate and some that only rotate), and is adaptive to robotic cameras being added or deleted from the group, and to changing environmental conditions. The robotic cameras share information for their controllers over a wireless network using a specially designed multihop networking algorithm. The control strategy is demonstrated in repeated experiments with three flying quadrotor robots indoors, and with five flying quadrotor robots outdoors. Simulation results for more complex scenarios are also presented. View full abstract»

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  • Toward Robotic Sensor Webs: Algorithms, Systems, and Experiments

    Page(s): 1562 - 1586
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    This paper presents recent advances in multiagent sensing and operation in dynamic environments. Technology trends point towards a fusion of wireless sensor networks with robotic swarms of mobile robots. In this paper, we discuss the coordination and collaboration between networked robotic systems, featuring algorithms for cooperative operations such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) swarming. We have developed cooperative actions of groups of agents such as probabilistic pursuit-evasion game for search and rescue operations, protection of resources, and security applications. We have demonstrated a hierarchical system architecture which provides wide-range sensing capabilities to unmanned vehicles through spatially deployed wireless sensor networks, highlighting the potential collaboration between wireless sensor networks and unmanned vehicles. This paper also includes a short review of our current research efforts in heterogeneous sensor networks, which is being evolved into mobile sensor networks with swarm mobility. In a very essential way, this represents the fusion of mobility of ensembles with the network embedded systems, the robotic sensor web. View full abstract»

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  • Control of Ensembles of Aerial Robots

    Page(s): 1587 - 1602
    Multimedia
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    There are many examples in nature where large groups of individuals are able to maintain 3-D formations while navigating in complex environments. This paper addresses the development of a framework and robot controllers that enable a group of aerial robots to maintain a formation with partial state information while avoiding collisions. The central concept is to develop a low-dimensional abstraction of the large teams of robots, facilitate planning, command, and control in a low-dimensional space, and to realize commands or plans in the abstract space by synthesizing controllers for individual robots that respect the specified abstraction. We derive the basic theory and present experimental and simulation results with a team of rotor crafts. View full abstract»

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  • Future Special Issues/Special Sections of the Proceedings

    Page(s): 1607 - 1608
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  • Are you keeping up with technology or falling behind [advertisement]

    Page(s): C3
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  • [Back cover]

    Page(s): C4
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Editor-in-Chief
H. Joel Trussell
North Carolina State University