The study of multi-robot systems originated from work on distributed robotics in the 1980s and has since promised powerful applications that still have to come to their full realization. The impact that even current technology applied as a multi-robot system can have is aptly demonstrated by the innovations pushed forward by Kiva Systems. These are revolutionizing the automation of warehouses across the U.S. and were acquired by Amazon.com for $775M. This example merely scratches the surface of what is possible with multi-robot systems whose study greatly benefits from a rigorous interdisciplinary approach at the intersection of robotics, control theory, artificial intelligence, and human-robot interaction.
The overarching objective of the proposed work is to provide a scientific and practical foundation for the design of multi-robot systems through an application-centric and interdisciplinary approach.
The chosen application domains are search and logistics and
contributions include the design of models, formal analysis, design and implementation of algorithms, as well as building, testing, and evaluating real systems with human operators. Innovations include multi-objective optimization for adaptive multi-robot coordination in complex environments and the application of crowd-sourcing in combination with cognitive modeling to multi-robot systems.
The purpose of this grant application is to enable the realization of the applicant's overall research agenda and support the foundation of a new interdisciplinary research laboratory concerned with the design of multi-robot systems. This laboratory will enable the successful long-term integration of the applicant into the European research community and solidify his international network. The laboratory is anticipated to lead to practical systems but also to have profound impact on the study of cognition in complex systems consisting of the most powerful cognitive agents, robots and humans.
Fields of science
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