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A project log for Drone Swarm Control Algorithms

I want to look at control methods for swarms that can be adapted to problems in the real world.

Gene FoxwellGene Foxwell 05/07/2016 at 17:590 Comments

The linked youTube video shows the simplest version of the described drone swarm in action. At this point the goals are nothing more than points that need to be reached by at least one member of the group.

I've tested this with a kind of multi-modal problem - the points to be reached are clustered on different corners of the map. In order to provide a realistic deployment scenario, the individual robots are let loose on the upper left hand quadrant.

My next step is introduce complex environments. I want to pose the same goal problems to a swarm release inside a home, office, or other obstacle filled area. In these cases the goals could be interpreted as checkpoints that need to be examined in a security sweep, or perhaps potential areas of the home where survivors of some disaster might be found.

The final step after that will the implementation of more complex goals, at present I am thinking of two main types of goals to add:

  1. Multi-step goals, robot collects an object and deposits in a pre-defined goal position. This could be used for swarms that are responsible for collecting waste, or retrieving missing material from dangerous locations.
  2. Timed goals - instead of the goal ending as soon as it is reached, it is only marked as complete after some undetermined number of iterations. This could be analogous to a firefighting robot, searching an area and fighting the flames until they are out.
  3. Co-operative goals, these goals are only completed when an undetermined number of individuals reach them.

Anyway, please enjoy this video in the meantime.

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