Experimental Validation of Multi-Agent Coordination by Decentralized Estimation and Control
- Pp. 76-100 (25)Michael Hwang, Matthew L. Elwin, Peng Yang, Randy A. Freeman and Kevin M. Lynch
In previous work, we developed a decentralized framework for formation control by mobile robots. Each robot simultaneously estimates the current swarm shape, by local information diffusion in a communication network, while controlling its own motion to drive the swarm to the desired shape. These continuous-time estimation and control laws result in provably correct behavior, but they make unrealistic assumptions for implementation on actual robots. </p><p> This paper describes the first experimental implementation of decentralized estimation and control based on information diffusion. We develop the hardware, software, and communication protocols that adapt the theoretical approach to an actual implementation. Experiments demonstrate that the robots successfully estimate the first and second inertial moments of the swarm, using scalable local communication, while simultaneously moving to control these moments.