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Open AccessArticle

Self-Adaptation of a Heterogeneous Swarm of Mobile Robots to a Covered Area

by Ján Zelenka 1,*,†, Tomáš Kasanický 1,†, Marek Bundzel 2,† and Rudolf Andoga 3,†
1
Institute of Informatics, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dubravska cesta 9, 845 07 Bratislava, Slovakia
2
Department of Cybernetics and Artificial Intelligence, Technical University of Košice, 042 00 Košice, Slovakia
3
Department of Avionics, Technical University of Košice, 041 21 Košice, Slovakia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(10), 3562; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10103562
Received: 17 April 2020 / Revised: 11 May 2020 / Accepted: 18 May 2020 / Published: 21 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multi-Agent Systems)
An original swarm-based method for coordination of groups of mobile robots with a focus on the self-organization and self-adaptation of the groups is presented in this paper. The method is a nature-inspired decentralized algorithm that uses artificial pheromone marks and enables the cooperation of different types of independent reactive agents that operate in the air, on the ground, or in the water. The advantages of our solution include scalability, adaptability, and robustness. The algorithm worked with variable numbers of agents in the groups. It was resistant against failures of the individual robots. A transportation control algorithm that ensured the spreading of different types of agents across exploration space with different types of environments was introduced and tested. We established that our swarm control algorithm was able to successfully control three basic behaviors: space exploration, population management, and transportation. The behaviors were able to run simultaneously, and space exploration (the main goal) was never stopped or interrupted. All these features combined in a single algorithmic package represent a framework for future development of swarm-based agent systems applicable in a broad scope of environments. The results confirmed that the algorithm can be applied to monitoring, surveillance, patrolling, or search and rescue tasks. View Full-Text
Keywords: heterogeneous swarm; reactive agents; self-organization; space patrolling; cellular automata; emergent behavior heterogeneous swarm; reactive agents; self-organization; space patrolling; cellular automata; emergent behavior
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Zelenka, J.; Kasanický, T.; Bundzel, M.; Andoga, R. Self-Adaptation of a Heterogeneous Swarm of Mobile Robots to a Covered Area. Appl. Sci. 2020, 10, 3562.

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