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Conference Papers Year : 2021

Coordinating a Swarm of Micro-Robots Under Lossy Communication

Abstract

We envision swarms of mm-scale micro-robots to be able to carry out critical missions such as exploration and mapping for hazard detection and search and rescue. These missions share the need to reach full coverage of the explorable space and build a complete map of the environment. To minimize completion time, robots in the swarm must be able to exchange information about the environment with each other. However, communication between swarm members is often assumed to be perfect, an assumption that does not reflect real-world conditions, where impairments can affect the Packet Delivery Ratio (PDR) of the wireless links. This paper studies how communication impairments can have a drastic impact on the performance of a robotic swarm. We present Atlas 2.0, an exploration algorithm that natively takes packet loss into account. We simulate the effect of various PDRs on robotic swarm exploration and mapping in three different scenarios. Our results show that the time it takes to complete the mapping mission increases significantly as the PDR decreases: on average, halving the PDR triples the time it takes to complete mapping. We emphasise the importance of considering methods to compensate for the delay caused by lossy communication when designing and implementing algorithms for robotics swarm coordination.
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Dates and versions

hal-03470187 , version 1 (13-12-2021)

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Razanne Abu-Aisheh, Francesco Bronzino, Myriana Rifai, Lou Salaun, Thomas Watteyne. Coordinating a Swarm of Micro-Robots Under Lossy Communication. 2nd ACM International Workshop on Nanoscale Computing, Communication, and Applications, Nov 2021, Coimbra, Portugal. pp.635-641, ⟨10.1145/3485730.3494040⟩. ⟨hal-03470187⟩
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