Comm-Bots - Distributed Coordination Of Mobile Robot Swarms To Support Message Communication

Cem Karan, University of Pennsylvania


In situations as diverse as search and rescue, exploration, or war, communications among actors is vital to accomplish a mission. Wireless robotic routers that physically reposition themselves have been proposed as a means of preventing network partitions from occurring. However, it is impossible to prevent network partition in all cases, and so methods that adapt to network partition are of paramount importance. This dissertation proposes and compares different control strategies aimed at solving the network partition problem by tasking individual mobile robots as message couriers between network partitions. To support this work, a model of the universe is presented and justified, and used as the basis for a new simulator written for this thesis. The control strategies are described and implemented, and their performance is measured using the simulator. Finally, further avenues of research are discussed.