Algorithms for Control and Interaction of Large Formations of Robots

Ross Mead, Jerry B. Weinberg

NSF and NASA sponsored a workshop to discuss harvesting solar power in space. One solution considered was the use of a swarm of robots to form a solar reflector. How can these robots organize to form a large parabolic structure and be effectively controlled? The approach of this project is to treat the formation as a lattice of cells. Each cell is in one of a given state governed by a set of rules. A command that indicates the geometric formation is sent to a seed robot; the formation would then transform as neighbors attain their calculated relationship based on the formation definition.

Subjects: 17. Robotics; 15.4 Reactive Control

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