July 3-5, 1996
LAAS-CNRS, Toulouse, France
A Multi-robot Cooperative Scheme based on Distributed and
Incremental Plan Merging
We present and discuss a generic cooperative scheme for multi-robot cooperation.
It is based on an incremental and distributed plan-merging process.
Each robot, autonomously and incrementally builds and execute its own
plans taking into account the multi-robots context.
The robots are assumed to be able to collect the other robots current
plans and goals and to produce plans which
satisfy a set of constraints that will be discussed.
We discuss the properties of this cooperative scheme
(coherence, detection of dead-lock situations) as well
as the class of applications for which it is well suited.
We show how this paradigm can be used in a hierarchical
manner, and in contexts where planning is performed in parrallel with plan
We also discuss the possibility to negociate goals within this
framework and how this paradigm ``fills the gap'' between centralized
planning and distributed execution.
We finally illustrate this scheme through an implemented system
which allows a fleet of more than ten autonomous mobile robots to
perform load transfer tasks in a route network environment with a very
limited centralized activity and important gains in system
flexibility and robustesness to execution contingencies.