Autonomous Reorganization of Cooperative Robotic Teams for Robust Performance

(Press release)

The objective of this project is to provide teams of cooperative robots with the appropriate knowledge of their organizational structure and capabilities, along with efficient reasoning mechanisms, to allow them to reorganize “on-the-fly” to achieve their overall team goals more efficiently and effectively in the face of a changing environment and team capabilities. The goal is to establish organizational reasoning as a key component in a new approach to building highly robust cooperative robotic teams. To realize this goal, the new organizational knowledge and reasoning techniques must be incorporated into practical methods and tools for designing and developing real world cooperative robotic systems. The technological objectives of this research will be to

  1. Develop a team organizational model that describes how organizational concepts such as goals, roles, and individual team members are related
  2. Develop strategies, techniques, and algorithms for discovering when reorganization is required as well as efficient techniques for reorganizing to allow teams to reach their goals
  3. Codify these methods and techniques in an automated toolset to ensure that the organizational knowledge is captured and transformed into a form compatible with efficient reasoning techniques

The theories, techniques, methods, and tools developed in research will be used to enhance both undergraduate as well as graduate curriculum in multiagent and cooperative robotic systems. Also, a series of activities designed to impact persons not specifically part of the project are planned with a strong emphasis on pre-college students from elementary to high school. We plan to participate in several summer workshops to motivate pre-college students to select science and technology majors and to reach specific underrepresented groups.

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This research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

Period of Performance: April 2004 - March 2010