Stochastic strategies for a swarm robotic assembly system

Löic Matthey, Spring Berman, Vijay Kumar

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

56 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present a decentralized, scalable approach to assembling a group of heterogeneous parts into different products using a swarm of robots. While the assembly plans are predetermined, the exact sequence of assembly of parts and the allocation of subassembly tasks to robots are determined by the interactions between robots in a decentralized fashion in real time. Our approach is based on developing a continuous abstraction of the system derived from models of chemical reactions and formulating the strategy as a problem of selecting rates of assembly and disassembly. These rates are mapped onto probabilities that determine stochastic control policies for individual robots, which then produce the desired aggregate behavior. This top-down approach to determining robot controllers also allows us to optimize the rates at the abstract level to achieve fast convergence to the specified target numbers of products. Because the method incorporates programs for assembly and disassembly, changes in demand can lead to reconfiguration in a seamless fashion. We illustrate the methodology using a physics-based simulator with examples involving 15 robots and two types of final products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2009 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA '09
Pages1953-1958
Number of pages6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2 2009
Externally publishedYes
Event2009 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA '09 - Kobe, Japan
Duration: May 12 2009May 17 2009

Publication series

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

Other

Other2009 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA '09
CountryJapan
CityKobe
Period5/12/095/17/09

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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  • Cite this

    Matthey, L., Berman, S., & Kumar, V. (2009). Stochastic strategies for a swarm robotic assembly system. In 2009 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA '09 (pp. 1953-1958). [5152457] (Proceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation). https://doi.org/10.1109/ROBOT.2009.5152457