Continual developments in robotic technology have enabled having robots in everyday applications in domestic, office and public places. One common key factor of all these environments is the presence of people and all the technical and social challenges it brings. Gaining acceptance of the people by providing satisfactory levels of safety, comfort, and conforming to basic social rules along with efficiency in performing the given tasks are essential requirements for advancement of robotic applications in our society. However, such applications will not be limited to a single robot as there will be increasing demand for robotic assistants and multi-robot applications. In comparison with their individual counterparts, multi-robot systems, can exhibit superior properties that cannot be achieved without exploiting the potential of the team by means of information sharing, coordination and joint decision-making. Additionally, multi-robot teams are capable of increased efficiency by distributing or parallelizing the required workload. Therefore, human-aware cooperative multi-robot systems will be a necessity if teams of robots are to operate in real applications in environments shared with people.
This research focuses on multi-robot coordination in social human-populated environments using a market-based framework for solving the Multi-Robot Task Allocation (MRTA) problem. The main difficulty for MRTA in such highly dynamic and noisy environments is that plans are likely to change or to be rendered invalid, particularly if the robots are planning for long periods of time. Additionally, the robots are required to perform in a socially acceptable manner in terms of navigation and interaction with people and other team members. The combination of human-aware coordination, human-aware task planning, and individual human-aware navigation is shown to improve the performance of the robot team in terms of MRTA metrics such as the total traveled distance and time, as well as the social awareness of the robots.
This research project is part of the European project of MOnarCH.
Team and Collaborators
In collaboration with:
- Rodrigo Ventura
- Deepak Viswanathan
Research Period and Sponsors
This project started in April 2013 and is still ongoing.
NCCR robotics sponsored this project from April 2013 to March 2014. MOnarCH was the sponsor of this project from March 2014 to March 2016.
Related Student Projects and Internships
DISAL-SU28: Paul Prevel, Application of Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) in Multi-Robot Task Allocation (MRTA) in a social environment
DISAL-SP118: Paul Prevel, Integrating Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) with Cooperative Human-aware Navigation for Social Environment
EIRATECH-DISAL-MP39: Cyrill Baumann, Distributed vs Centralized Path-Planning and Task-Assignment Solutions for a Fleet of Mobile Warehouse Robots
DISAL-SP111: Nicolas Talabot, Human-Aware Navigation Using Kinect-based Active Perception
DISAL-SP109: Paul Alderton, Market-based Coordination for Social Robots in Highly Dynamic Environment
DISAL-SP98: Alaa Bakr Maghrabi, Ultra-Wideband Localization in for Person Tracking
DISAL-SP91: Stefano Savare, Market-based coordination for social robot in human-populated environment
DISAL-IP31: Jose Manuel Palacios Gasos, Optimal Path Planning and Coverage Control for Multi-Robot Persistent Coverage in Environments with Obstacles
DISAL-SP84: Christophe Reiners, Ultra-Wideband Localization in Multi-Robot Systems for Person Tracking
DISAL-SP83: Audrey Marullaz, Predictive Person Following using MOnarCH Robots
DISAL-MP26: Alessio Canepa, Methods for Ultra-Wide Band indoor localization using robotic fingerprinting in complex environments
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