Robot Teams Get Set to Handle Hazardous Jobs
Kansas State University associate professor of computing and information sciences Scott DeLoach has been using a $219,140 grant from the Department of Defense to research and create intelligent sensor networks.
DeLoach’s approach uses robots, sensors, laptops, and servers to handle dangerous but necessary tasks such as searching buildings for weapons of mass destruction or clearing supply routes of improvised explosive devices.
DeLoach’s projects examine how robot teams can respond to changing environments when performing a task, an action that will require the robots to have knowledge of the team’s organizational structure, individual team member capabilities, the environment, the team goal, and appropriate reasoning mechanisms.
“The goal is to establish ‘organizational reasoning’ as a key component in a new approach to build highly robust cooperative robot teams,” DeLoach says.
So far, a model of autonomous teams has been developed that allows teams to reason about organizing and reorganizing, along with a goal model for dynamic systems that allows the dynamics of the environment to be captured, according to DeLoach.
The project has also developed a high-level simulator that tests the teams reasoning algorithms to determine if the team actually adapts the problem-solving process to their environment.
The robotic team structure will allow a small number of operators to control multiple teams of robots, rather than multiple operators controlling a small number of robots.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) from Kansas State University News (05/01/07); Hall, Michelle.