GREX is the Latin word for a herd - and such a herd or group is the nucleus of this project. It is the main objective to create a conceptual framework and middleware to coordinate a swarm of diverse, heterogeneous physical objects (exemplary robotic vehicles) working in cooperation to achieve a defined practical goal in an optimised manner. The emphasis will be placed on methods and tools enabling a solution of problems that cannot be solved by one system alone, and which can ensure a better and provable quality of the results. Due to their increasing importance for European industries and research (e.g. biotechnology, pharmacy, or homeland security), the emphasis will be placed on the coordination of marine vehicles, which are becoming the main tool for the exploration and exploitation of the ocean. The technical problems that must be solved are far more complex than those that occur on land or space. The absence of reliable navigation and communication systems and the presence of an unpredictable environment present complex problems that do not occur in other fields. However, the solutions and systems developed in this project can be adopted to other application fields.
The project goal is the development of theoretical and practical tools for multiple system cooperation, bridging the gap between concept and practice. The technology developed must be widely generic in order to interface pre-existing heterogeneous systems. Methods that address the problems caused by faulty communications will be developed and tested. A coordinated mission control, enabling end-users to effectively program and follow the state of progress of multi-vehicle missions will be implemented. Programming will use formal methods for software validation. The use of perception and communication techniques will also be exploited to enable ad hoc formation of information and sensor networks among a swarm of vehicles. To assess the success of GREX a series of field trials will be performed.
Fields of science
Funding SchemeSTREP - Specific Targeted Research Project
3004 517 Coimbra
92130 Issy Les Moulineaux
EH10 4SY Edinburgh