Application of an Artificial Neural Tissue controller to multirobot lunar ISRU operations

Jekanthan Thangavelautham, Alexander Smith, Dale Boucher, Jim Richard, Gabriele M.T. D'Eleuterio

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Automation of mining and resource utilization processes on the Moon with teams of autonomous robots holds considerable promise for establishing a lunar base. We present an Artificial Neural Tissue (ANT) architecture as a control system for autonomous multirobot tasks. An Artificial Neural Tissue (ANT) approach requires much less human supervision and pre-programmed human expertise than previous techniques. Only a single global fitness function and a set of allowable basis behaviors need be specified. An evolutionary (Darwinian) selection process is used to train controllers for the task at hand in simulation and is verified on hardware. This process results in the emergence of novel functionality through the task decomposition of mission goals. ANT based controllers are shown to exhibit self-organization, employ stigmergy (communication mediated through the environment) and make use of templates (unlabeled environmental cues). With lunar in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) efforts in mind, ANT controllers have been tested on a multirobot resource gathering task in which teams of robots with no explicit supervision can successfully avoid obstacles, explore terrain, locate resource material and collect it in a designated area by using a light beacon for reference and interpreting unlabeled perimeter markings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpace Technology and Applications International Forum, STAIF 2007, including Co-located Conferences
Pages389-399
Number of pages11
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007
EventSpace Technology and Applications International Forum: Space Renaissance: Inspiring the Next Generation, STAIF-2007 - Albuquerque, NM, United States
Duration: Feb 11 2007Feb 15 2007

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
Volume880
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616

Other

OtherSpace Technology and Applications International Forum: Space Renaissance: Inspiring the Next Generation, STAIF-2007
CountryUnited States
CityAlbuquerque, NM
Period2/11/072/15/07

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Keywords

  • Collective robotics
  • Developmental systems
  • Evolutionary algorithms
  • ISRU
  • Neural networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Thangavelautham, J., Smith, A., Boucher, D., Richard, J., & D'Eleuterio, G. M. T. (2007). Application of an Artificial Neural Tissue controller to multirobot lunar ISRU operations. In Space Technology and Applications International Forum, STAIF 2007, including Co-located Conferences (pp. 389-399). (AIP Conference Proceedings; Vol. 880). https://doi.org/10.1063/1.2437478