Design of control policies for spatially inhomogeneous robot swarms with application to commercial pollination

Spring Berman, Vijay Kumar, Radhika Nagpal

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

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present an approach to designing scalable, decentralized control policies that produce a desired collective behavior in a spatially inhomogeneous robotic swarm that emulates a system of chemically reacting molecules. Our approach is based on abstracting the swarm to an advection-diffusion-reaction partial differential equation model, which we solve numerically using smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH), a meshfree technique that is suitable for advection-dominated systems. The parameters of the macroscopic model are mapped onto the deterministic and random components of individual robot motion and the probabilities that determine stochastic robot task transitions. For very large swarms that are prohibitively expensive to simulate, the macroscopic model, which is independent of the population size, is a useful tool for synthesizing robot control policies with guarantees on performance in a top-down fashion. We illustrate our methodology by formulating a model of rabbiteye blueberry pollination by a swarm of robotic bees and using the macroscopic model to select control policies for efficient pollination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2011 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2011
Pages378-385
Number of pages8
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011
Event2011 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2011 - Shanghai, China
Duration: May 9 2011May 13 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
ISSN (Print)1050-4729

Other

Other2011 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2011
CountryChina
CityShanghai
Period5/9/115/13/11

    Fingerprint

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this

Berman, S., Kumar, V., & Nagpal, R. (2011). Design of control policies for spatially inhomogeneous robot swarms with application to commercial pollination. In 2011 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2011 (pp. 378-385). [5980440] (Proceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation). https://doi.org/10.1109/ICRA.2011.5980440