1st International ICST Conference on Robot Communication and Coordination

Research Article

Shared Memories: A Trail-based Coordination Server for Robot Teams

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  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.4108/ICST.ROBOCOMM2007.2047,
        author={G. Roussos and D. Papadogkonas and J. Taylor and D. Airantzis and M. Levene and M. Zoumboulakis},
        title={Shared Memories: A Trail-based Coordination Server for Robot Teams},
        proceedings={1st International ICST Conference on Robot Communication and Coordination},
  • G. Roussos
    D. Papadogkonas
    J. Taylor
    D. Airantzis
    M. Levene
    M. Zoumboulakis
    Year: 2010
    Shared Memories: A Trail-based Coordination Server for Robot Teams
    DOI: 10.4108/ICST.ROBOCOMM2007.2047
G. Roussos1,*, D. Papadogkonas1,*, J. Taylor1,*, D. Airantzis1,*, M. Levene1,*, M. Zoumboulakis1,*
  • 1: School of Computer Science and Information Systems Birkbeck College, University of London, London WC1E 7HX, U.K.
*Contact email: gr@dcs.bbk.ac.uk, dikaios@dcs.bbk.ac.uk, jenson@dcs.bbk.ac.uk, dimitrios@dcs.bbk.ac.uk, mark@dcs.bbk.ac.uk, mz@dcs.bbk.ac.uk


Robust, dependable and concise coordination between members of a robot team is a critical ingredient of any such collective activity. Depending on the availability and the characteristics of the particular communication infrastructure, coordination mechanisms can take varied forms, leading to distinct system behaviors. In this paper, we consider the case of robot teams operating within relatively sparse wireless sensor network deployments. We introduce Shared Memories, a trail-based coordination engine, that analyzes interaction patterns between participating team members and sensor network nodes capable to discover significant aggregate patterns, which are made available to the team. To this end, we propose a model for the representation of captured interactions and their sensory context developed as a probabilistic grammar, as well as associated metrics used to rank trails and quantify their significance. Such trails are used as the basis for coordinated operation in team tasks and are made available by the engine to all team members. Our implementation deploys ad-hoc wireless local networking capability available through surrogate devices to commodity robots and RFID proximity sensors. We report on the performance of this system in experiments conducted in a laboratory environment, which highlight the advantages and limitations of our approach.