NSF Award #0705451 (Dr. K. Baheti)
The project addresses the problem of coordinating a number of mobile agents through a wireless communication network, in order to achieve dynamically-changing tasks over a geographically extended region. For example, agents can represent mobile sensor required to collect information about a time-varying spatial field (e.g., temperature profiles, chemical concentration, etc.), or mobile relays providing wireless communication services over a region of interest.
The intellectual merit of this project is the development of a systematic approach to the design of scalable, robust, and adaptive algorithms for a class of dynamic task-based motion coordination problems, with a precise characterization of the closed-loop performance, and of the implementation complexity in terms of computation time and network load. In particular, we are interested in examining how the performance and complexity characteristics of the system change as its dimension grows, both in terms of the number of agents, and of the number of tasks. Furthermore, we will investigate how the choice of the communication structure (including network topology, and communication protocols) influences the system's performance.
The new conceptual framework will allow the development of mobile robotic networks with capabilities that are well beyond those offered by current technology. The availability of possibly large networks of mobile agents, able to collect and disseminate information over an extended volume of space will greatly impact our abilities in application areas such as environmental monitoring, planetary exploration, search and rescue, surveillance, disaster management and national security.