Website of the project:
The objective of this research project is to deeply investigate the problem of monitoring a dynamic phenomenon using a team of multiple mobile robots. The sensor-equipped robots will have the task of tracking and registering the phenomenon, and storing its evolution through a stream of data. In the system we envision, the robots will mutually localize themselves, autonomously control their own motion, and cooperatively perform the task at hand in an effective, reliable and safe manner.
We are interested in a large set of scenarios where the geometry of the observed phenomenon can change within some limits, and its motion can change in different ways. From a tracking perspective, the phenomenon can be characterized as a collection of multiple target points or objects. The concept we propose to explore in our research can thus be generally considered as multi robot system that is like an a major paradigmatic extension of the concept of motion capture system in which each sensor (robot) can control its motion in order to optimally track the phenomenon while it moves and changes.
In order to obtain a complete representation of the phenomenon and to avoid partial occlusions, the scenario we assume requires the presence of multiple sensors (i.e. multiple robots). The idea, for this reasearch, is to consider a team of heterogeneous robots composed by ground and aerial robots.
This lead to focus on a strongly related topic, which is also the aim of this research project, the problem of designing control strategies for the team in such a way to reach cooperation toward the common objective. Teams of multi robots, indeed, can take advantage of their number to perform complex manipulations or to achieve rich spatial and temporal awareness by suitably distributing themselves in the environment. For this reason, robot motions, inter-robot communications, inter-robot collisions avoidance, target-collisions avoidance, typical issues, will represent our main challenges when particular phenomena should be tracked and registered.
Summarizing, the main objectives of the project can be specified as follows:
- Investigating the problem of autonomously tracking and monitoring a dynamic phenomenon using a team of multiple mobile robots, finding novel theoretical approaches and scientific solutions that advance the state-of-the-art towards the development of robotic phenomenon capture systems;
- Improving the already known techinques in terms of control of team of multiple mobile robots, looking for safe, reliable and optimized solutions;
- Implementing a real-world robotic system that applies the novel contributions of the research and disseminating the findings and advances associated with the project to the scientific community;
MuRoPhen is a project funded by the French National Agency for Resaerch, ANR, Project ANR-17- CE33-0007 MuRoPhen.