Flexible dynamic task allocation in cooperative mission-based robotic systems

Stephen S. Nestinger, University of California, Davis
Harry H. Cheng, University of California, Davis
Bo Chen, Michigan Technological University


Mission-based multi-robot systems (MRS) require the ability to quickly adapt to different missions while maintaining the innate advantages of cooperation and fault tolerance. This requires a flexible architecture capable of adapting to real-time changes in the system while dynamically assigning tasks to available drones. The provided mobile agent-based dynamic task allocation architecture enables non-centralized methods for allocating tasks to a heterogeneous system of mobile robots. The architecture utilizes three types of intelligent software agents including a mobile task agent, stationary control agent, and a mobile behavior agent. A mobile task agent is used to automatically collect the next available task and communicates with the onboard stationary control agent in order to complete the desired task. A mobile behavior agent is used to automatically gather the robot specific behaviors necessary to execute the low-level reactive control system required for the task. A case study involving border patrolling demonstrates the feasibility of the dynamic task allocation architecture. A simple yet effective wall-following behavior algorithm is given. © 2009 by ASME.