Working with one of the Ph.D students from the ARL in the research topic of “Bio-inspired Distributed Control of Small Teams of AUVs with Minimal Communication”, I extended the Multi-agent based C2 system and deployed onto a team of miniature marine vehicles called the SWARMBOT (see picture below), for a cooperative source localization mission. The experiment aims to demonstrate the emergent behavior which arose from the implicit communication among a team of robotic systems [bibcite key=BIOCAST].
Rather than developing a new C2 system for the control of the SWARMBOTs, we simply deploy the existing C2 system with only a minor modification to the overall control architecture. Since the SWARMBOT is equipped with different sensors and actuators, compared to the STARFISH AUV, a new Sentuator module was developed to replace the existing STARFISH Sentuator module. The desired cooperative behavior for the vehicle team can be incorporated within a new BD_BIOCAST agent, without any modification to the existing pool of the Backseat Driver agents or the control architecture.
Video credit: M. Shaukat